Here in SE Idaho we're in our 6th year of drought. Not enough snow in the winter, not enough rain in the summer.
We're located in the high desert, so we're not used to much precipitation here at all - about 10 - 14 inches per year. Is that too much to ask? Apparently.
Water Rights are a big issue in Idaho and three of the five wells serving our local population are about to be co-opted. That means that someone else has first rights to use the water which I, my family and neighbors drink. Overall, this means that I will have less water to drink, water the plants/lawn, and cook with.
This is the first time in the ten years we've lived here that the water rights have become an issue. At present, they're simply looming overhead. Saving water is a big deal here. I wish more people would practice a few simple water saving techinques.
Here's the first in a series I'm presenting on Water Conservation.
1. Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.
2. Set a kitchen timer when watering your lawn or garden with a hose.
3. Use sprinklers that throw big drops of water close to the ground. Smaller drops of water and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
4. Teach your family how to shut off your automatic watering systems. Turn sprinklers off if the system is malfunctioning or when a storm is approaching.
5. Avoid planting turf in areas that are hard to water, such as steep inclines and isolated strips along sidewalks and driveways.
6. Use the sprinkler for larger areas of grass. Water small patches by hand to avoid waste.
7. Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower.
8. While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.
9. Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.
10. Don't water your lawn on windy days. After all, sidewalks and driveways don't need water.
11. Install a rain shut-off device on your automatic sprinklers to eliminate unnecessary watering.
12. Use a screwdriver as a soil probe to test soil moisture. If it goes in easily, don't water. Proper lawn watering can save thousands of gallons of water annually.
13. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.