Did you know it can take 15-20 seconds to properly water a plant? And in Walmart’s garden centers, where we house an average 12,000 plants in peak season, that adds up to a lot of watering time. So figuring out how to responsibly manage our water usage has been topping our to-do list for quite some time.
We’re excited to say we’ve found a great solution. Last year, we started working with WaterPulse, an irrigation technology company focused on sustainability, to implement watering mats in place of our hose-based system. Some of our old systems used 20,000-30,000 gallons of water a day, which is about the same amount as the average backyard swimming pool. But now we’re going through less than 400 gallons per day.
WaterPulse helped us replace our hose-based systems in 162 stores (and counting). Within the next year, we hope to have watering mats in half of our more than 4,000 stores across the country. Each watering mat can hold about 100 plants apiece. When we water the mat, it does the rest of the work for us by spreading the water out to fully hydrate the plants. And even more recently, WaterPulse has partnered with us implement a timer system to automatically irrigate our plants at set intervals.
The result is better, healthier plants, as well as associates who are now able to spend less time watering and more time helping find the perfect items for our customers.