southwestern irrigators

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BrandonV, Jan 15, 2013.

  1. BrandonV

    BrandonV LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,629

    Just got back from a trip to vegas/grand canyons/lake mead. had a good deal of fun. It's odd not having humidity in the air, yall should try it :)

    Regardless after taking the dam tour (which I absolutely loved and recommend the extended guided tour $$) I have decided most of yall will be out of business in 5-10 years. What are yall planning on doing? Being on the east coast it really put things into perspective on yalls population problem out there. The guide explained that lake mead is 50' below "optimum" level and is loosing ~10' a year and basically said that if the lake drops another 50' that hoover dam will no longer be able to generate power (that's 5 years unless yall get a hurricane.

    I don't care how much irrigation maximization you do there's no way the landscape industry is going to win out vs agriculture/industry and domestic use. I don't think ending landscape irrigation will solve the problem either but we'll be on the chopping block first. What is the left coast doing about these levels? Desalination plants? Cutting off Mexico from the Colorado?
  2. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,226

    Brandon, truthfully, I have been thinking about that this winter. What am I going to actually do when I am forced to shut down the biz due to lack of water? Our local snow pack is less than 50% normal, and I think the state average is at 65%. Water level is at about 65% in the reservoirs. One small town near me is called Palmer Lake. The lake is dry. It's a mud pit right now. Local utilities is back to restrictions again, and it may even start out as two days a week watering. In our climate, with no humidity, our grass cannot survive if we have the same conditions as last year. At 95+ degrees, no humidity, and no rain, even at three days a week it was tough.

    Now here is the thing - I can schedule within the proper 2 or 3 days a week watering, and personally I CAN make the grass stay green and thrive. BUT - the issue is we SHOULD NOT do that!! If there are restrictions in place, it is for a reason, which is to save water. On a customers given days, I could set to run morning and evening, which is not forbidden in most restriction guidelines, that would give it either 4 or 6 cycles in a 2 or 3 day watering per week. But we are supposed to CONSERVE water, not work around the guidelines. Homeowners need to understand that in our conditions, a lush green lawn is not going to happen unless we waste water. They need to accept the fact that lawns will not be green if our climate or at least local weather patterns don't change. They need to keep the grass alive, not thriving. It can stay alive in a semi-dormant state, until it rains again.

    Also, they ask/force us to conserve, and then continue to raise rates.
    here's a recent local article

    I am going to an ALCC meeting (local industry organization) next month, and that particular meeting is focused on drought and restrictions. Should be interesting. Will update. I'm not a member, but going as a guest of another company.

    As for your trip out this way, glad you could make it. How do you feel about low or no humidity? I love it. Whenever I go to visit families on each coast, I can't wait to get back to the land of dried skin, chapped lips, and always needing a water bottle handy. :laugh: Now taken even to another level at 6500' where the sun bakes your skin, dries out the lawn in an hour, and weathers the wooden deck like you wouldn't believe. Seriously, I prefer it though.
    I've been to the Hoover dam as well, but not taken a guided tour. Neat place.
  3. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,335

    Yup .... been saying it for years. All those downstream folk are hating life when drought hits, as well as all those upstream folk who were dumb enough to sell their rights to the downstream folk.
  4. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    Last I heard, the once mighty Colorado river was a mere trickle when it entered Mexico.
  5. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,758

    Just how much water is wasted in ag use? Maybe it's time to look at what they're about.
  6. 1idejim

    1idejim LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,358

    While i personally see ag water waste daily, i also see efforts to conserve water. Most of these efforts are in conjunction with conserving other resources, Shoes.

    The costs of conveyance force ag to limit pump time now more than ever but i can only speak for Jefferson.

    The farmers and ranchers that i was raised around always preached conservation, water was a precious commodity. The wetlands were left be for the ducks and geese to rest on during their journey.

    Farmers and ranchers like waterfowl, tastes good.

    If you have looked at some of my posted pics you see conservation efforts made through concience rather than mandates. Again i can only speak for my experiences in the state of Jefferson.

    Gregg and Chief, living in Baja Jefferson may have different experiences and/or observations.

    As always i look forward to everyones input, especially Chiefs
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  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    I had heard the same.
  8. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,156

    yep.... It kind of makes me wonder what was going through our idiot governers head last year when he officially declared the drought in CA as over. We should always be in a state of declared drought. The minute they say it's over people go back to wasting water. I can't tell you how many irrigation systems I saw running in the rain during the last few storms that we had. Until it starts really costing people they won't care.
  9. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,172

    It does not affect Joe homeowner, he's a drop in the bucket. AG & commercial sites seem to be the big water wasters. Remember my pic/ post from Mesa, AZ the other day where no one gave a damn?
  10. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 27,061

    joe homeowners x 1 million.

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