Wednesday, June 17, 2009

It’s time to plan for saving water in the yard

Twenty-nine days, and counting, in a record-tying dry spell for Western Washington. The last time this happened was in 1982. That is the same year Minh Thai won the first ever Rubik’s Cube World Championship in Budapest, Hungary. What does that have to do with saving water, well nothing really, but since I’ve got your attention…

Recent warm weather could mean that urban water users are cranking up the times on their sprinkler systems. As we head into peak irrigation season for both Eastern and Western Washington, let’s think about being Water Smart. About half of the water we use on lawns and gardens goes to waste because of evaporation, poor timing, and bad system design. We can do better than that.

Practicing outdoor water conservation is easier than you think. Simple changes like watering during the early morning or late evening can reduce evaporation. That way your plants get the water all to themselves.

When it comes to timers, the motto is NOT “set it and forget it.” Adjust timing every month to allow for seasonal changes. Some water providers have sprinkler calculators to help guide homeowners.

If you are not sure about doing it yourself find a WaterSense Irrigation Partner, near you. Partnering irrigation professionals can install, audit or upgrade your system to save up to 9,000 gallons each year. That’s a lot of water! Better yet, that could be 9,000 gallons of water you aren’t paying for.

The bottom line is water conservation is good for everyone. By practicing conservation you are helping to secure a consistent water supply for Washington’s future. Who knows, maybe one day there will be a world championship for water savers.

What have you done to save water? Planted drought tolerant or native plants, removed grass, or installed a rain click? Tell us.

A few interesting links
Interested in caring for your lawn and garden the environmentally friendly way? Check out our Natural Yard Care brochure for more tips and tools.

Be prepared. Next month is Smart Irrigation Month.

Test your WaterSense with EPA’s quiz.

1 comment:

Shell n' Stone said...

Thanks for posting this valuable information. In our city, we are on an every-other-day watering schedule to help manage our water resources.

With our home vegetable garden it can be tough to avoid watering during "off" days when the plants are looking a little wilted.

I added mushroom compost in a 1-2 inch thick layer around my veggies and that helps hold the moisture in longer than without it. Now my veggies get through the "off" days and get slowly fed from the nutrients in the compost.

Its a win-win!