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Drought Leads to Water Conservation

by Mario Gomez

khou.com

Posted on June 29, 2009 at 2:52 PM

Updated Tuesday, Oct 27 at 11:12 AM

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June is about to end on a very dry note with only .27” inches of rain for the month.

Houston has also seen its driest two month period since May 1 - June 29. On average June 2009 is already warmer than the June of 1980. Water main breaks are starting to happen with more regularity as the ground drys and shifts. City crews will be busy for weeks patching pipes in Houston neighborhoods. Lake Jackson, Pearland, La Marque, Sugarland , Conroe and the Woodlands have water restrictions. The Woodlands implemented stage three mandatory water restrictions today Monday June 29. According to Conroe city officials “Under mandatory, or Stage Two, restrictions imposed under the city’s drought contingency plan, water usage for landscaping, vehicle washing - except for commercial car washes and service stations - and the filling of swimming and wading pools and hot tubs is limited to the hours of 10 p.m. to 4 a.m.”

During the summer months, approximately 80 percent of the water usage of a household is for irrigation. Of that 50 percent is wasted due to poor conservation techniques.

Here are a few ways you can save water and money during this drought:

  • Don’t Water Too Much

  • Use Native Plants

  • Zone Irrigation to Match Water Needs

  • Minimize Thirsty Turf Areas

  • Water Deeply, Water Less

  • Don’t Cut The Grass Too Short

  • Use Plenty Of Compost And Mulch

  • Use Rain Sensor or Controller On Irrigation System

  • Apply Fertilizer Sparingly

  • Consider Installing Drip Irrigation In Flower Beds

Most people water too much, especially during these long hot dry summer months. The typical Houston landscape requires an inch of water once a week. When watering, make sure to thoroughly wet soils to a depth of 6 inches. One inch of water will usually accomplish a 6 inch moisture level depending on your soil type. Deep watering encourages deeper root growth and better survival during dry spells. See if your water controller has a soak - cycle option for irrigation. This will allow the water to percolate into the soil rather than run off. If you don’t have a sprinkler system, water your lawn until it just begins to run off. Let it soak and go back a few minutes later and water that same area again.

Water your lawn and garden very early morning or after sunset. Watering early or late will save you as much as 87 gallons a week or 4,524 gallons a year. As most of Harris county goes to above ground water use the cost of water will continue to rise. A few water conservation ideas could go a long way to saving you several dollars.

Source : Water Conservation Tips Courtesy of Houston Gulf Coast Irrigation Association

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