Drought, restrictions, water conservation

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DanaMac, Feb 13, 2013.

  1. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    I went to a meeting today concerning our water shortage, and it looks like we will go to two days a week watering. Going to be tough, but we gotta do it. Trending towards one year supply in storage, which is two years of drinking water. Could go to tougher restrictions if necessary. Luckily, we are getting snow right now, but it's not looking like it will hit the areas of mountains that we get a large part of our water from.

    Colorado received 49% of normal precip in 2012, and 2012 temps were 109% of normal. Much hotter year than we see here, and 2nd warmest on record. Water storage was at 48% capacity January 31. Their graph for containing run off had absolutely no spike last year during the spring run off months. Steady decline. 2012 had highest usage since 2001, and was 7.9% higher than 2011.

    They want residences to water no more than 3 hours total on their given days, but many lawns are much bigger, and will need much more time. But I think the excessively large lawns need to reconsider how much grass they have, or have transition areas that are not very lush or green. The upper third tier of water usage will have heavy "tariffs" - using their words.
  2. Stuttering Stan

    Stuttering Stan LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,504

    The Astroturf business may be a boom in the near future.
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    You know, they talked about that in 2002 when we had issues then. But it never took off. I see a few here and there but not much.
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  4. ToddH

    ToddH LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,192

    In Las Vegas they were and maybe still do, offer cash for turf removal and conversion to xeriscape with drip.
    Many do expanded patio's and artificial turf.

    The times limit seems to be arbitrary as people could easily exceed that if they go with something like MP Rotators while having an efficient system.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,764

    say, whatever happened to the artificial putting green guy?
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    He went into the artificial sprinkler repair biz.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  7. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,592

    We are staying at once a week and I will bet that all the gov agencies will have to comply. What are some of the numbers for the university?
  8. HanktheCowdog

    HanktheCowdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    We have been on water restrictions in Lubbock for years. Currently stage 1 which allows for twice a week watering with sprinklers, no daytime watering during summer months. Drip is exempt. Last year we were on stage 2 (once a week watering). A few years ago we had an emergency shutdown of a major water main during July and we went to stage 4 for about a month (no outdoor watering). They did let people use garden hoses as long as someone was holding it (this was no fun, but fortunately we did get a little rain that summer).


    We are on tiered water rates, with prices ranging from $ 4 - $ 6 per thousand gallons.

    I basically specialize in water conservation. My business card has 10 water conserving tips printed on the back.

    Maintaining systems to keep them working properly will help a lot to help improve efficiency (just like a car).

    As far as operating systems to comply with water restrictions - with spray heads it is important to use multiple start times since spray heads apply water much more quickly than the soil can take it in. We will typically water 3-4 times early in the morning (i.e. 1, 3, 5, & 7 am) in small doses once or twice a week, depending on the season. This helps prevent runoff and promotes a deeper root system. Texas A&M recently studied this and found out it works, but I've already been doing it for nearly ten years.
  9. HanktheCowdog

    HanktheCowdog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Oh, and we are seeing more and more artificial turf going in.

    I am not a fan.
  10. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    We went to restriction back in 2002 when we had the same situation as now. Kept them on through 2005, should have kept them on forever, full time. Maybe go to a fourth day during the hottest 3 months.

    I actually service over 8 different water districts, all with different water prices, volume per tiers, between 3-6 tiers, and some charge by cubic foot, and some by gallons. So it's a mess. My GF just built a spreadsheet calculator for each district with their tiers, volume, rates, and assuming certain volume for indoor watering per person. We got it pretty darn accurate actually.

    I have tried getting folks onto a cycle and soak method, but maybe our local population is too stupid due to elevation and lack of oxygen :) No matter how many times I tell many of these people, they still call and wonder why it is turning on 2-4 times a day. So I got tired of repeating myself and quit doing it.

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