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Old 02-13-2013, 10:27 AM
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DanaMac DanaMac is online now
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Drought, restrictions, water conservation

I'm hoping this thread can be our "official" thread concerning all things related to drought, water shortages, restrictions, and maybe conservation.

We here in Colorado Springs area are in another drought period, and we will be having restrictions this year for the primary utility provider. They did have restrictions from 2002-2005 when things were bad then as well. Some of the smaller water providers have been on restrictions for a while now, which I think we should do full time, and forever due to our local conditions. We get about 16" of precip for our annual average, and we got about half that last year, along with our hottest summer on record. In an area that has very low overall humidity, and combined with high elevation that burns the grass easier just like it burns our skin easier, our lawns take a beating very fast.

I found this link today concerning our water shortage ordinance and all the different levels or stages of restrictions. I expect we will start out on either 3 days a week, or possibly even 2 days a week as utilities has hinted at. In a perfect world, with a perfect install, and perfect soil amendment, and the correct native turf for the area, two days a week watering works. But that is rarely the case and I don't know who lives in a perfect world.

I am going to do a better job this year of informing customers of our situation, and am in the process of putting together a small booklet or handout discussing our problem and what can be done. One thing they need to understand is that when there is a shortage of water, that might mean they do not have a thick lush green lawn. It means doing their part to save water, and accept a lawn less than perfect.

Any tips would be appreciated to best inform our customers/clients about what needs to be done. Not just for my customers, but every customer that utilizes water to maintain a green lawn around the country/world.
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:45 AM
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grassman177 grassman177 is offline
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wise words
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all is fair in love and grass! Man, it smells like sheet, do you smell that!!
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Old 02-13-2013, 10:47 AM
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1idejim 1idejim is online now
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Outstanding "official" thread starter Dana!
I hope leak detection facts and fiction as well as water loss surveys will also be welcome?


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Old 02-13-2013, 11:09 AM
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DanaMac DanaMac is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1idejim View Post
I hope leak detection facts and fiction as well as water loss surveys will also be welcome?
Of course. I'm just trying to get a dialogue going concerning issues pertaining to the thread title, or items that we can do to correct bad practices in watering and landscaping, or how to solve issues of losing water. We can't fix the drought, but we can fix badly installed systems.
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Old 02-14-2013, 07:53 PM
agrostis agrostis is offline
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Originally Posted by DanaMac View Post
Of course. I'm just trying to get a dialogue going concerning issues pertaining to the thread title, or items that we can do to correct bad practices in watering and landscaping, or how to solve issues of losing water. We can't fix the drought, but we can fix badly installed systems.
So do you think people in your area are really ready to take water conservation seriously or do they still want that upscale landscaped look ?
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Old 02-14-2013, 08:15 PM
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irritation irritation is offline
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I would say if my customers could only water twice a week, about 90% would say screw it and water the plants with a hose.
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Old 02-15-2013, 10:09 AM
Kiril Kiril is offline
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Originally Posted by agrostis View Post
So do you think people in your area are really ready to take water conservation seriously or do they still want that upscale landscaped look ?
I might note, one can have an "upscale" landscape that is also not a high water consumer.
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Old 02-15-2013, 12:21 PM
SoCalLandscapeMgmt SoCalLandscapeMgmt is offline
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I might note, one can have an "upscale" landscape that is also not a high water consumer.
Yep..... the landscaping that I see around the big homes in Santa Barbara and Montecito come to mind. Very nicely done and they use very little water.
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Old 02-16-2013, 08:17 AM
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DanaMac DanaMac is online now
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Originally Posted by agrostis View Post
So do you think people in your area are really ready to take water conservation seriously or do they still want that upscale landscaped look ?
No, I don't think they are ready to really embrace the issue. They will when they get their water bill though. We have already been on a tiered system, but they are talking about severe penalties for going over 2,000 cubic feet per month, or 14,960 gallons. And with some of the bigger lawns, or inefficient systems, that will happen. At least the utility system is going to update their website, so they can monitor usage at their account.

I am going to suggest keeping the very front of the house green, and allow the rest to be less green. Many of these folks have kids that are now gone, and the lawn doesn't get used anyway, other than for looks and for upkeep. Not everybody is going to be able to cut their lawn size by 50% or change the entire landscaping. Retirees, multiple kids, current economy, laziness - are all reasons they won't do it. When water and sod were cheap, it was grass from edge to edge of the properties, and some people just won't budge even when they have to.

One issue I have, is that with the possible restrictions, and overall water shortage, our city/county is still (at this time anyway) allowing fracking (hydraulic fracturing for natural gas) which uses millions of gallons of fresh water. I'm not a proponent of it to begin with, but this makes it even worse.
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Old 02-13-2013, 01:06 PM
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Wet_Boots Wet_Boots is online now
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I think the sprinklers-only guys will be more or less working on optimizing systems, and possibly reworking some of them to restrict watering to beds where the expensive plantings are.
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