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“Using water wisely means conserving it when you can, and not wasting it.”
Why Conserve Water?
Water is essential to life on earth. We need water to grow food, keep clean, provide power, control fire, and last but not least, we need it to stay alive!
If water is constantly being cleaned and recycled through the earth’s water cycle, why do we need to conserve it?
The answer is that people use up our planet’s fresh water faster than it can naturally be replenished.
To provide enough clean fresh water for people, water is cleaned at drinking water treatment plants before it is used. And after water is used, it is cleaned again at wastewater treatment plants or by a septic system before being put back into the environment.
Saving water is good for the earth, your family, and your community.
Drought Recommendations from the California Landscape Contractors Association (CLCA)
Recommendations to help you make smart choices and protect the environment using your area’s mandated water reductions.
What Can I Do Now To Prepare For The Drought?
· Mulch heavily all flower and soil beds. Mulch helps keep water in the soil. Do not use rocks/gravel because they add heat to the soil and moisture evaporates faster.
· Mow grass (Fescue, Rye, Kentucky Blue Grass) higher: 3-3.5" to promote deeper root growth and hold more moisture.
· If you intend to prune, do so before April or don’t prune. Pruning stimulates growth, which needs more water. Existing growth will also provide additional shade to the soil, helping to retain moisture.
· Do not use high nitrogen fertilizers during a drought. They encourage growth but the plants will need more water.
· Fix or replace any broken sprinklers and repair leaks.
· Keep your lawn as healthy as possible. A healthy lawn will survive better. Many lawns can go very dry and still come back.
· Attach a water efficient spray nozzle to your hose and use it to mist your lawn to build up humidity for a few minutes at the end of the day.
How To Maximize Landscape Watering During A Drought
· Start watering earlier and finish before 9 a.m.
· Set your spray irrigation timer to run half the normal time and run a second cycle at least half an hour later to reduce runoff. Soils will only absorb so much water and anything beyond that point is wasted water. Average time should be 5 minutes or less per cycle on a level site.
· Consider a smart controller, which monitors the weather and adjusts watering accordingly.
· Soil may look dry, but may still have plenty of moisture. If a 6" screwdriver goes easily into the soil then wait to water.
What If I Can Only Water One Or Two Days Per Week?
· Program your sprinkler time for multiple start times with run cycles about 5 minutes each. Repeat the cycles 3-4 times at least 30 minutes apart. If runoff occurs, reduce minutes per cycle.
· Mow lawns higher and less frequently. Do not take off more than 25% when mowing.
How Can I Maximize My Landscape Water Savings?
· Check regularly for leaks and then fix them immediately.
· Incorporate existing water saving technology into your irrigation system. New sprinkler heads and smart controllers maximize water savings.
· If you have a water meter, learn to read your meter. It will help you determine if you have a leak.
· Turn on each sprinkler zone and see how much time it takes to start generating runoff for each zone. Round sprinkler time down to the nearest minute and set that time as your maximum run time for each station. Program your controller for multiple run cycles.
· Runoff means wasted water. No runoff means the water is being absorbed by the soil.
How Can I Prepare For A Drier Future?
· Make sure your irrigation system is efficient, pressure regulated and consistently up to date with the latest water saving technology.
· Study your landscape and the local community. Examine the long-term survivability of your current landscape and consider incorporating climate appropriate plants.
· If your area is at risk for fire, consider adding native fire retardant plants and learn how to protect your property.
· Study your environment, the animals that exist within the landscape and your long term needs to help you make good ecological choices.
When you use water wisely, you help the environment.
You save water for fish and animals. You help preserve drinking water supplies. And you ease the burden on wastewater treatment plants—the less water you send down the drain, the less work these plants have to do to make water clean again.
When you use water wisely, you save energy.
You save the energy that your water supplier uses to treat and move water to you, and the energy your family uses to heat your water.
When you use water wisely, you save money.
Your family pays for the water you use. If you use less water, you’ll have more money left to spend on other things.
Most Popular Myth regarding Water Conservation:
"Conservation will require us to make major changes in our lifestyles"
You can reduce the per-capita water use by 25% by:
Water leaks make up approximately 14% of water use inside the home.
Water Saving Tips
Ways to Save Water Indoors:
Check all faucets, pipes and toilets for leaks.
Install water saving showerheads and ultra-low-flush toilets.
Install low flow aerator faucets.
Take shorter showers.
Never use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket.
Turn off the water while brushing your teeth or shaving.
Defrost frozen food in the refrigerator.
Keep drinking water in refrigerator.
Rinse vegetables in a full sink or pan of water.
Fully load your dishwasher.
Rinse dishes in a full sink or pan of water.
Wash full loads of clothes.
Water Saving Tips
Ways to Save Water Outdoors
Don't over-water landscaping
Water your lawn or garden early in the morning or late in evening
Adjust sprinklers so that they don't water the sidewalk or street
Don't water on cool, rainy or windy days
Equip all hoses with shut-off nozzles
Use drip irrigation systems
Plant drought-tolerant or low water-use plants and grasses
Use shrubs and ground cover to reduce the amount of grass
Place mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weeds
Set your mower blades one notch higher, since longer grass means less evaporation
Use a pool cover to cut down on water evaporation
Use a bucket instead of a hose to wash your car
Use a broom rather than a hose to clean sidewalks and driveways
Lawn Watering Guide
Lawn watering consumes nearly half of the water used by a typical single-family home. Most of us tend to water too often and leave the sprinklers on too long. Turf studies have shown that most lawns only need to be watered once every 3 days to stay healthy and green. Proper lawn watering can save a lot of water
If you witness anyone not following the Landscaping Watering Schedule or being a water waster, please contact the Water Information Hotline at (209) 895-8070 with the following information:
Description of violation
Your name and phone number (information is kept confidential)
One clear sign to distinguish overwatering is if you see water running down the street three houses down.
Violators of the City of Patterson's City Ordinance 13.24.240 Negligent Waste of Water will be given one written notice of ordinance violation in order to give an opportunity to correct the violation. Further violation will lead to formal citations, fines and possible disconnection of service.
Water Conservation Tips For Lawns
Did you ever think that you could be saving water by using an irrigation system? Probably not, but if your irrigation system is correctly designed, installed and maintained, it will help minimize the amount of water you use and still keep your lawn and landscape looking healthy. Here are some practical tips to help you have a beautiful, green landscape.
1. Don't drown
The greatest waste of water comes from applying too much, too often -- much of the water is never absorbed. Instead of watering for one long session, water a few times for shorter periods and take 15-minute breaks in between each session. This will allow water to soak in, while minimizing runoff.
2. Watch the clock
Water after 7 p.m. and before 10 a.m. when the sun is low, winds are calm and temperatures are cool. Mid-day watering tends to be less efficient because of water loss due to evaporation and windy conditions during the day. By watering in the morning, leaves have a chance to dry out during the day.
3. Divide by zones
Different plants need different amounts of water. Divide your yard and landscape areas into separate irrigation zones so that grass can be watered separately and more frequently than groundcovers, shrubs and trees. Both sprinkler and drip irrigation can be incorporated to achieve more efficient use of water.
4. Water only things that grow
If you have an underground sprinkler system, make sure the sprinkler heads are adjusted properly to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways. A properly adjusted sprinkler head should spray large droplets of water instead of a fine mist to minimize evaporation and wind drift.
5. Consider dripping
When it comes to watering individual trees, flowerbeds, potted containers, or other non-grassy areas, consider applying water directly to the roots using low volume drip irrigation. This will reduce water waste through evaporation or runoff, and will prevent unwanted weeds from growing.
6. Do routine inspections
Since lawns and gardens should be watered in the early morning hours, a problem may not be discovered until it is too late. Periodically check your sprinklers to make sure everything is working properly. A clogged head or a torn line can wreak havoc on your landscape and water bill.
7. Be rain smart
Adjust your irrigation system as the seasons and weather change. Or better yet, install a shut-off device that automatically detects rain or moisture. These devices are inexpensive and enable you to take advantage of the water without having paying for it.
We hope you've found these tips useful.
For more Water Conservation Information and Tips,
visit the Water Saver Home (Virtual Home Tour) website at
provided by the California Urban Water Conservation Council
THANK YOU FOR DOING YOUR PART!!
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