As the end of summer approaches, it is still important to conserve water in the landscape. Groundwater stored in the Ogallala Aquifer is a limited natural resource, so here are a few reminders to help you and your family conserve water this summer without even knowing it!
1. Do not water landscapes in the heat of the day: Evaporation losses can be as high as 80 inches per year in the Panhandle South Plains region. The hotter it is—the faster water will evaporate! Also, be aware and abide by any landscape watering times enacted by your local town or city.
2. Do not water the lawn on windy days: Be sure to use a sprinkler that throws large droplets of water instead of a fine spray. Using a soaker hose on your landscape can help reduce water losses as well.
3. Avoid watering the sidewalk and driveways. Set up your sprinklers so they’re not spraying the sidewalk or driveway. This will cause water losses from evaporation and/or runoff.
4. Avoid irrigation runoff. Not only does it squander water supplies, irrigation runoff can also wash polluting fertilizers and pesticides into sewer systems.
5. Cover your pool: Consider covering your swimming pools when not in use to reduce evaporation losses. Pools can lose up to a thousand gallons of water from evaporation each month (and can increase energy costs if your pool is heated). In addition to saving water, a swimming pool cover can help cut down chemical consumption by as much as 60 percent.
6. Use gutter downspouts: Direct gutter downspouts and/or the condensation drain line from your air conditioner to a flowerbed or tree base on your lawn.
7. Build basins: Mound soil to form a water collection basin around plants and shrubs. If space permits, extend the basin to the plants’ drip line.
8. Create zones: Group plant varieties according to their water needs to enhance irrigation efficiency.
9. Stop dribbles: Add a shut-off valve to the end of hoses. Turn the valve to the off position when you’re dragging the hose from place to place.
10. Use a commercial car wash that recycles water: You can also wash your car on your lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time. However, according to the International Car Wash Association, the amount of water used for washing your car at home can be about 80 to 140 gallons, while commercial car washes average less than 45 gallons per car. Choose wisely!
11. Set water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save water, chemicals, and energy.
Water Use It Wisely
Grace Community Foundation