Water brings tranquility, balance and movement to an outdoor space, qualities nearly impossible to replicate with other materials. How do you get the look with water conservation in mind? There are a few strategies:
- Decrease evaporation by minimizing the surface area
- Surround with permeable materials
- Include water foliage
- Reduce, reuse, recycle
Just in case you think I’ve just eliminated all the joy a water feature should deliver, check out these beautiful, water-conscious fountains.
Water-Conscious Landscape Designs to Adopt
Minimize surface area. Evaporation steals water from your feature. Minimizing its surface area by choosing a fountain or fall with a small surface area of water reduces the space for this process to take place.
Fountain 1: J’Nell Bryson Landscape Architecture, original photo on Houzz
Regardless of the surface area, evaporation is slower in areas that remain cool. The trees that surround this space are likely to substantially decrease the evaporation in this charming set of fountains.
Fountain 2: Kerry Burt & Associates, original photo on Houzz
Surround with permeable materials. When splash and spray are desired effects, consider placing foliage at the base of a water feature. The foliage joints in this patio will enjoy any overspray the fountain sends their way. Were the joints made of gravel, the patio surrounding the fountain would still have the benefit of allowing overspray to permeate into the ground rather than coming to rest on a hardscape and evaporating.
Fountain 3: Claudio Ortiz Design Group Inc, original photo on Houzz
Surround with splash-catching foliage. This design applies the same strategy, placing foliage in the area most likely to receive splash.
Fountain 4: Debora Carl Landscape Design, original photo on Houzz
Reduce splash and overspray. This lovely fountain’s small evaporative space and splash are appropriate to a desert environment.
Don’t let it bubble away. A bubbling fountain reduces all splashing and water flows quietly down the sides, sheathlike, into a recirculating basin.
Fountain 5: AMS Landscape Design Studios Inc, original photo on Houzz
Add water foliage. Whereas the foliage in the previous photos increased the sustainability of the fountains, this one seems designed to sustain the garden bed — a wonderful idea.
Fountain 6: AMS Landscape Design Studios Inc, original photo on Houzz
Reduce, reuse … This charming set of water fountains appears to be fed by runoff from a slope. Once captured, of course, the water can be reused.