2011 has been a year of fires and record-setting drought all over Texas. Currently, 70% of the state is experiencing what climatologists are calling exceptionally dry conditions: this has meant hardship for ranchers and farmers and water restrictions for many Texas cities and counties.
It’s now become imperative for Texans to watch how much water they use each day, especially if they are homeowners. Conservation, however, doesn’t mean having to live with desiccated vegetation. Here are a few suggestions from the North Texas Municipal Water District on how to make the most of every drop of water:
- If water restrictions are not already in place, water winter lawns every fifth day and summer lawns every third day. Use sprinklers that cast large droplets close to the ground to water large areas of grass. For smaller areas, water by hand to avoid waste.
- Do all watering early in the morning when temperatures are cooler and the winds lighter.
- Install a rain shut-off device on automatic sprinkler systems to eliminate unnecessary watering.
- Adjust lawnmower settings so that cut grass is longer rather than shorter. This way, root systems will receive more shade and your lawn will hold more moisture.
- Water only as rapidly as the soil can absorb water. Focus on watering more deeply and less frequently.
- Weed lawns and gardens regularly: weeds compete with other vegetation for water, light and nutrients.
- Sweep driveways or sidewalks to clean them. Hosing down these areas can use 80 gallons or more of water.
Minimizing water usage in times of drought is everyone’s responsibility. South Austin Irrigation can help homeowners and businesses make adjustments, repairs or enhancements to sprinkler systems that save water and money and conserve one of the state’s most precious resources.
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