Sustainability

Watering Solutions That Save Big

By  Rob Cowgur, Sr. Director, Merchandising (Live Goods), Walmart April 07, 2014

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.

Garden Center


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.  

Garden Center


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. 

Read more from Rob Cowgur

6 Comments

Jay SavageMAY 11, 2015 9:38 PM

We have our water pulse mat on the tables but no one has connected it to the water line. Fruitland MD 2931

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Dulcie Tamera GingrichAPRIL 26, 2015 11:17 PM

Please provide more education on the Waterpulse mats to Walmart garden center employees and zone managers. The system needs to be kept moist so the potting mix will not completely dry out in the pots. Completely dry potting mix shrinks up, thereby closing the air spaces in it, stopping the capillary action from taking place. The mats are great for reducing by-hand watering, & can greatly reduce water waste, but more education is still needed in order to keep product loss down & sales up.

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Leunam ZtmJANUARY 17, 2015 4:12 PM

Hay mike croy I work in the garden center and this is the first year with the water mat system what I was wondering how to set it up

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Mike CroyJANUARY 19, 2015 11:33 AM

Leunam - your TAP provider will be providing you with instructions and oversee the installation at your garden center. Please tell me your store number and I will make sure you are contacted right away! Send me an email or post here. Thanks for reaching out!

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Mike CroyMAY 13, 2014 12:55 AM

WaterPulse is proud to be working with Walmart to dramatically reduce the use of our precious water resources. If you have questions about the Automated Watering Mat System, please drop me a note. Mcroy@WaterPulse.com.

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