Conserva Irrigation Expands With New Deals
I interview a lot of business people about countless interesting companies in franchising, but every now and then one really sticks with me and gets my gears turning. The latest such example is Conserva Irrigation, a MN-based brand under the Outdoor Living portfolio that bills itself as the only national outdoor irrigation company founded on the concept of water conservation.
Headquartered just 20 minutes north of the Franchise Times office in Minneapolis, I took a late-summer car ride to the northern Twin Cities ‘burbs to hang out with the company founder, Russ Jundt, who took me through the thinking behind his company’s smarter irrigation technology. It was a particularly memorable conversation.
I won’t spoil the good stuff, as I’m writing an in-depth feature story on Conserva for the pages of Franchise Times, but our initial interview changed the way I think about using water for irrigation. After our chat, it’s impossible to drive anywhere without noticing the countless irrigation heads playing a concert for no one, irrigating during a rainstorm or creating massive parking lot puddles or sidewalk streams.
With today’s technology, that sort of waste is now easily avoided. That’s a lot of money flowing down the drain, which will becoming increasingly important in this era of frequent droughts.
As a solution to this problem, Jundt developed a proprietary process to audit irrigation systems called the "System Efficiency Score" to rate the water efficiency of a system based on a numerical scale. Conserva's signature "SES" rating system is based on studies published by the Irrigation Association and the Environmental Protection Agency. This systemized approach allows homeowners to understand how much water their sprinkler systems are wasting as well as what improvements to make in order to reduce water consumption and lower water bills.
Conserva is growing quickly, with recent deals signed in Texas, Arizona, Kentucky and Virginia—but even here in Minnesota, the so-called land of 10,000 lakes, water conservation is necessary for the health of our watersheds. I recall a recent issue in a suburb near our office where a major lake was slowly losing its water, and experts predict more events like this in the future even in the Midwest’s water-rich landscape.
As part of its release about the latest territory expansions, Conserva added that it is seeking single- and multi-unit operators with a range of experience levels, as well as those looking for add-on or conversion business opportunities. Potential franchisee candidates should be willing to invest between $43,550 and $80,250.
Stay tuned for the real story, and be careful where you’re pointing that hose as the growing season winds down across the country. Mother Nature is watching.