Water We Waiting For?

By: Mr. Wilson on July 16, 2013
Earlier this spring, in the midst of seemingly unending rains, I calmly predicted the need for water restrictions this summer. I even suggested that we might consider making Lincoln's water use policy permanent, even if most of the time participation were voluntary. I felt like a street corner apocalyptic preacher carrying a sign that read "The End is Nigh". I was mostly ignored. Times have changed, though, and now calls for water restrictions are on the increase thanks to a month without relief from the heavens. The City still hasn't made any formal declarations on the matter. Instead they have issued a plea to voluntarily reduce water usage before they have to formally ask us to voluntarily reduce water usage. I guess that's the local government equivalent of "please" followed by "pretty please". We've been over this before, but here's a friendly reminder: with rare exceptions your lawn doesn't need to be watered more than twice per week. Better yet, restrict your watering to about one-half inch per week -- that's enough to keep your lawn alive while encouraging it to go dormant. If you have plants that require more water than that, target them specifically rather than unnecessarily watering a wide area just because a small patch needs it. The current forecast doesn't call for a high likelihood of rain any time soon. If you haven't done so already, start taking steps to reduce your water usage. If you don't, the City might have to up the ante -- by asking pretty please ... with a cherry on top.

Comments

See what your neighbors have to say about this.

George
July 16, 2013 at 1:46PM

I personally think that water restrictions should be year round.  When they came earlier this year and said “Phew, we’re all safe now” I just rolled my eyes because of the stupidity of it.  Even a common person like me knew that in order to fix something long term, you have to make long term changes.

Fletch
July 16, 2013 at 2:51PM

This is all fine and good, but you still can’t restrict and/or mandate away selfishness and stupidity.

I still think restrictions and pricing should be based on the actual volume used, not days of the week or the address of a home or business.

Tell someone they can only water on 3 days, and there’s nothing preventing people from watering 2-3 times a day on each of those days, whether they need to or not. Start sticking it to them based on the water volume, and maybe they get a clue. Prudent users could water 4 days a week and actually use less water than selfish folks watering 2 or 3.

And how about stupidity? Watering at the warmest point of the day makes no sense, but you see it all the time. It’s most beneficial to do so in the early morning hours, when temps are lower, the sun is not up yet, and winds are typically calmer. More of the water actually lands on grass and plants and stays longer and does more good.

Confessions: I own a home. It has a grass “designed” by Nebraska Sod called Plantation Fescue, which is supposed to need less rain/water, and which is supposed to be more drought tolerant. I have underground sprinklers. They are on a timer, and I operate them in the early morning hours, and only on the days as outlined by last year’s restrictions. I didn’t turn them on until mid-June. I don’t mow as often and I have my mower height set higher than I did in the early spring. I also have a rain sensor, so if we get enough precipitation, they automatically will stay off. I think these sensors should be mandatory on sprinkler systems, for homes and for businesses.

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