Ecology And Environment

Ways to Conserve Water during a Dry Summer



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Summer time is here again, time to plant the garden and groom lawns. Don’t forget a nice cool dip in the pool to finish off that hard day’s work. Yet most people do not really think about where the water comes from and think that it magically comes out of their faucet. Well, it is not really magic and there are finite amounts of that precious resource. Just because the earth’s surface is covered by 70% water, does not mean people can waste the fresh water supply.

Most municipalities have some sort of water reservoir, whether that is a river, lake, stream or manmade storage. As the summer season rolls around, rain is not as prevalent as it is in spring and fall. There is also a higher demand in usage. People are watering their lawns, gardens, and flower beds. They are also filling swimming pools and washing cars. How many times have you seen on the local nightly news that there is a water rationing time in effect? That could be prevented if everyone just did their part to conserve water during the hot months. This article will focus on the side of water conservation that is specific to the hot season on our suggestions below.

- Prioritize

The first thing you need to do is to prioritize what needs the water most. If you have newly planted trees, shrubs, plants, flowers or grass they will need a significant amount of water to help set up their root structure. When watering make sure you do not over water because this can have an adverse effect as well. The best time to water plants is in the morning when the heat and wind are at their lowest levels. This will help prevent loss of water due to evaporation. Older trees do not require as much direct water due to their elaborate root structure so you can put them off until last.

- Mulching and Weeding

Many people do not think about weeding their garden as a source of water conservation, but it is true. Weeds fight with your plants for resources, with water being one of them. Make sure to keep up with weeding your garden and flower beds. You will also want to mulch around these areas as well. This helps retain the ground moisture and will require you to water less often.

- Lawns

One of the biggest wastes is watering the lawn. There are ways though to help lessen the waste. In a drought it can take 6000 gallons of water per week to water a 5000 sqft lawn. Sometimes it is just smarter to let the grass go to sleep. If this is not an option for you then make sure to try and limit your impact. Try not to stress the lawn with excessive walking, when you move allow the clipping to fall on the grass. Do not bag your grass clippings, these clippings act as natural mulch and help to retain the ground moisture. Try not to over fertilize your lawn; this requires more water to help disperse the nutrients. You will also want to water in the morning to help prevent evaporation.

- Prevent other waste

There are other items that can help reduce your water footprint. If you are not using your pool, cover it, this helps prevent evaporation. If you are washing your car, do it in the morning or evening to help prevent evaporation. You will also want to make sure you are using a nozzle with a trigger to stop the flow when not directly using to wash or rinse. Use a timer when watering with sprinklers so as to not overdue it. You also need to check all your faucets to make sure they are not dripping or leaking. A small drip can add up overtime.

- Capture and redirect

Redirecting your drain spouts for the guttering system of your house can help direct rainwater to areas you normally water. There are also rain barrel systems you can use to capture water. This will help lower your use of city or well water. 1000sqft of roof will collect 420 gallons of water with an inch of rainfall.

By just using a little common sense and the above listed steps, you will be able to lower your fresh water use. This not only helps the environment, but also your bank account. Enjoy the summer and all that Mother Nature has to offer.

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ARTICLE SOURCES AND CITATIONS
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.mwcog.org/environment/water/watersupply/downloads/Water%20Conservation%20Tips-%20SUMMER.pdf
  • InfoBoxCallToAction ActionArrowhttp://www.mwcog.org/environment/water/watersupply/downloads/Water%20Conservation%20Tips-%20SUMMER.pdf