Right as Rain: Why Water Features Work

Right as Rain Why Water Features Work

When a community faces a drought—they feel it deep in their bones. Unapologetic municipal efforts to “slow the flow” are pervasive—and frustrate those who find comfort in anything green. Environmental responsibility must drive landscaping decisions, dry times or not. But—for those who aspire to gratify both their eyes and their conscience—Mother Nature has just the solution.

A water feature. A beautiful juxtaposition of water, stone and flora, designed and built to serve as your plot’s pièce de résistance. It can be the game-changer you’re looking for to enhance an area that was once green and vibrant.

But during a drought, you ask?

Self-contained, recirculating water features have the stamp of approval from those who know a thing or two about carbon footprints and environmental responsibility.

Water features were once frowned upon by conscious consumers, misperceived as wasteful and thought to defy water conservation efforts. But peek behind the curtain, and today’s systems reveal a different story—one with environmental responsibility and efficiency as core themes.

Modern water features are designed as workhorses, with energy-efficient pumps that pack punch and nozzles that minimize water loss. Hardworking liners prevent leakage and catch precious rainfall. Water recirculates through the system, requiring only minimal topping off to account for evaporation.

Water features actually require less water—over time—then grass of the same square footage.

And headlines show drought restrictions that once prohibited decorative fountains have eased—allowing for modern systems that recirculate water.

Water features rely on a submersible pump, a reservoir, tubing, filtration system and a power source to put on a show. Smart design ensures water conservation and minimal maintenance. Ensuring the waterfall is well-built and choosing a nozzle designed to minimize the height of spray will reduce water loss. A proper filtration system ensures clean water, reducing the need for water changes. OASE’s Clear Water Guarantee provides insurance against the most common consumer fears—green water and maintenance time. OASE CWG-marked products guarantee clear water—ensuring visibility of the one-inch mark on a tape measure submerged up to 3 feet.

The constant flow of (recirculating) water provides the habitat to cultivate lush green foliage and flowers—that don’t require watering like their terra firma counterparts. The confluence of textures, sounds and elements within a carefully appointed water feature creates a rich visual experience to savor, long after the drought subsides.

Your masterpiece will be much more than eye candy, though. A new beat for wildlife—birds, butterflies, and frogs will punctuate its beauty. Providing an interactive canvas for hours of viewing pleasure, visiting wildlife will elevate its artistry and share in its nurturance. Native birds will grace its banks for drinking, wading or bathing. Great blue herons fly in for feeding— tall grasses and rocks serve as sanctuary for the ponds’ more vulnerable creatures. Koi or other ornamental fish may find respite under floating plant islands, which work overtime to enrich the ponds’ beauty.

When visiting creatures don’t “play well with others”, pond owners have several options to redirect the mischief. Placing a net over the pond in the evening will deter midnight prowlers, yet will not detract from its beauty during daylight. Heron decoys have been shown to keep their spirited counterparts from approaching the pond at mealtime. Steep sides and deep water enable a quick escape for frogs and fish.

So if rain’s pitter patter is an elusive sound in your neighborhood and splashing in cul-de-sac puddles a forgotten art, a water feature may be the perfect antidote. An exquisite, environmentally responsible feast for the senses—you can feel good about keeping your pond, waterfall or fountain flowing.