The weather is warming up and your yard is starting to sprout back to life. Time to turn on those sprinklers again, right?
Not so fast. This is also the time that cities across the Metroplex implement water conservation measures to protect our water supplies. With droughts expected through the summer, it is important that we all do our part to conserve this precious resource.
Do you know what your town’s water conservation measures are? Some prohibit sprinkler systems from running between 10:00 am – 6:00 pm. Others have days of the week that residents are allowed to water their lawns. Be sure to check with your local municipalities to find out what the requirements are in your town before you turn on your sprinkler.
But water conservation doesn’t just involve a crazy schedule for watering your grass. There are lots of other ways that we can work together to save water. Here are just a few tips from the Region C (North Texas) Water Planning Group:
Water Conserving Measures for Indoor Water Use
- Toilets: Replace high water use toilets with low volume flush toilets. Some water providers have rebates to help reduce the cost of replacing high water use toilets. All of the toilets sold today are low flow toilets.
- Showers: Install a water efficient showerhead. This is the single most effective conservation step that can be taken inside the home
- DON ™T let the water run when you are using it. For example, turn the water off while brushing your teeth and soaping up your hands. Turn the water on to rinse. For shaving, fill the sink with water instead of letting the water run.
- Only run the dishwasher when it is FULL.
- Dry scrape dishes, instead of rinsing them and do not pre-rinse dishes being placed in a dishwasher.
- When washing dishes by hand, fill a basin or the sink with soapy water instead of letting the water run.
- Insulate hot water pipes where possible.
- Fix water leaks, including pipe leaks, toilet leaks, and faucet leaks.
Water Conserving Measures for Outdoor Water Use
- Water only when your grass needs to be watered. Watch for signs of stress in your grass, including dull green color, curled leaf blades, and footprints that remain visible after walking on the lawn. Water only after the top 2 inches of soil has dried out “ test with a soil probe or screwdriver.
- Water early in the morning or in the evening. Do not water on windy days.
- Place 1 inch of water on your lawn every five days. Be sure to include any precipitation as part of water you place on your yard.
- Adjust sprinklers to water only on the vegetation and not on the pavement.
- Use drip irrigation systems or soaker hoses to water flower beds, trees, and shrubs.
- Use a timer when watering so you don't forget to turn it off. Install rain shut off devices or moisture sensors to avoid unnecessary watering.
- Plant native shrubs and trees. Plant bermuda, buffalo, or zoysia grasses that are drought-tolerant. Use plants that are drought-tolerant, heat-tolerant, and tolerant to the minimum winter temperatures in your area. Put plants into irrigation zones according to their water requirements.
- Harvest rainwater from your gutters by adding a rainbarrel and saving the water for a dry day.
- Keep grass 3 inches tall during the summer to better hold moisture and encourage deeper root growth.
- Mulch grass clippings as you cut the grass “ don't bag your clippings.
- Use 1 to 3 inches of mulch to retain moisture. Do not use rock or gravel as they radiate heat and increase water loss.
- Use a bucket of soapy water and a hose with a nozzle that shuts off the water while you scrub your car. Alternatively, take your car to a carwash that recycles water.
For a complete list of water conservation tips, please visit the Region C Water website.