Summer Temperatures, Little Rain Mean It’s Time to Conserve Water

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It’s no coincidence that July is Smart Irrigation Month: Record-high temperatures and little to no rainfall tend to make us water our yards and landscape longer and more frequently. The key is watering efficiently.

July is traditionally the month of peak water usage, but a hot June already saw a striking increase in consumption: Water use doubled in College Station from the beginning of June to the end of the month.

In the spirit of July being Smart Irrigation Month, here are some simple ideas that homeowners, businesses and property managers can use to save water, courtesy of the City of College Station and the Irrigation Association.

• Properly adjusting your sprinkler timer can save thousands of gallons of water while keeping grass, plants and trees healthy.

• Operating sprinklers for one continuous 15-minute or 30-minute run time can lead to runoff and wasted water. Breaking the total run time into three start times of 5 to 10 minutes, separated by an hour, allows water to soak into the soil. This can save nearly 30 gallons of water per station, per watering day.

• Plan to water no more than two or three days per week in warmer months.

• Turn your sprinkler system OFF (or install a rain sensor that does it automatically) when you get enough rain to soak the soil a few inches deep.

• When your sprinkler system sprays faster than your lawn and landscape can absorb, precious water is wasted. Even a slight slope in your yard can encourage water to run off onto the sidewalk, gutter or street.

• Prevent runoff by reducing watering time and increasing frequency, so grass, plants and trees can absorb the water they need without waste.

“When the community comes together to use water wisely, we all reap the benefit,” Water Resource Coordinator Jennifer Nations said. “When our residents save water, they not only save money on their water bills, but the city can defer costly improvements in water infrastructure. Plus, our local water supply is preserved for future generations.”