Smart Landscaping: Navy Region Southwest (NRSW) has converted large areas of traditionally landscaped lawn areas to synthetic turf and desert landscaping. Naval Air Station (NAS) Fallon eliminated 95 percent of its natural turf in favor of desert landscaping. NAS Lemoore has either eliminated natural turf or changed the landscaping on more than 30 acres. Metro San Diego area installations have converted approximately eight acres. Successful landscape alternatives include desert plants, native plants, rock, gravel and recycled tires.
Evapotranspiration-Based Control Systems: In the Southwest, landscaping that is still irrigated is done so, in large part, using recently-installed, computerized, evapotranspiration (ET)-based, central irrigation control systems. The systems use on-site weather stations and sensors to measure daily ET data, which is used to determine irrigation run times. The systems have irrigation shutdown capabilities when the weather station detects rainfall, and flow monitoring technology to detect leaks and shut down individual valves when necessary. Naval Base Coronado and Naval Base San Diego have increased irrigation efficiency by upgrading irrigation nozzle technology, improving sprinkler location andcoverage, and correcting system hydraulics.
Master Planning: To reduce water consumption, NAS Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base stopped watering lawns and landscaping altogether. Lawns turn shades of brown during periods of low rainfall, but that is a natural appearance for the surrounding area. In addition to saving on the water bill, the energy/water management staff has saved on construction costs for new facilities by not requiring the installation of sprinkler systems. Irrigation systems in the metro San Diego areas are being included in the base Geospatial Information System (GIS), with plant types also being documented. Irrigation schedules are being tied to these GIS areas to allow for better informed decisions on where to cut, alter or maintain current landscape appearances.
Other irrigation options: Naval Post-Graduate School Monterey uses non-potable pond water for irrigation, and Naval Air Weapons Station China Lake and Marine Corps Base Hawaii use reclaimed wastewater to irrigate golf courses. Marine Corps Air Station Miramar tied its landscape irrigation system into the city of San Diego’s reclaimed water pipeline. The NAS Jacksonville wastewater treatment plant’s effluent flow is currently discharged to the St. Johns River and used for limited irrigation. A planned pipeline, pump station and two acre storage pond will eliminate discharge of treated wastewater to the river, and provide irrigation water for the NAS Jacksonville golf course and other irrigated areas throughout the station.
Rainwater Harvesting: Construction is complete on NAS Jacksonville’s first rainwater harvesting system at the new helicopter hangar. The system has a 50,000 gallon storage capacity, and will use rainwater collected from the hangar roof for the helicopter wash rack and for supplying toilets and urinals throughout the facility.
Hose controls: Best water management practices and drought response measures dictate that hoses must be equipped with pistol-grip or other automatic shut-off nozzles. There are few authorized uses for hoses in Department of the Navy facilities, and all authorized hoses must have nozzles.