Irrigation tune-up can save water

Day-to-day activities demand our attention, and the drought may not seem that important. If conserving water has not been a high priority, now is the time to join the effort and do your part. Mandatory regulations now limit how water is used outdoors, but it will take public cooperation to achieve the state’s goal of reducing overall water use by 25 percent.

Big savings can be achieved outdoors, where a lot of water is used to irrigate landscapes and gardens. Begin by assessing and prioritizing the plants in your landscape. I was recently reminded that plants are not your children and you can get rid of them if they are too demanding or don’t meet your expectations.

Consider removing plants that require a lot of water or maintenance unless you can’t live without them. Lawns require a lot of water and care. If you have a large lawn that is seldom used, make it smaller or eliminate it now. You can re-landscape with water-wise plants and you will save more water by waiting until fall when the weather is cooler.

It’s convenient to have an automatic irrigation system, but it will steal water if you ignore it. If there’s a power outage, most controllers will default to watering daily for 10 minutes, which is wasteful. Learn how to control your controller and check that the run days and time for each value is what you want.  Reset the program at least twice a year in spring and fall as water demand increases and decreases.

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