Thirsty Lawns and Smart Irrigation

About 25 percent of the state's population lives in North Texas.  That's more than 6 million water users and a lot of thirsty lawns.

Did you know that watering our lawns accounts for about half of all the water we use at home?  In fact, experts tell us most lawns get twice as much water as they need.  And we're doing it with treated drinking water.  It doesn't make much sense.  Yet it happens every day - to the tune of millions of gallons.

You probably don't even have to leave your neighborhood to see the signs of our bad watering habits: water gushing down the curb, sprinkler geysers erupting from yards, or watering during a downpour.  It all adds up to a waste we can't sustain.  So we have to be smarter in the ways we irrigate.

Keep these things in mind and share the wisdom with your friends:

  • Twice a week or less.  If you're watering more than two days a week, you're watering too much.
  • Don't water between 10 am and 6 pm.  Up to 30 percent of the water we spray on lawns during the heat of the day is lost to evaporation.
  • Cycle and soak to avoid runoff.  Irrigate in shorter bursts to give water a chance to soak in, and allow 30 minutes or more between cycles.
  • Tune up your irrigation systems.  Fix leaks or damaged sprinkler heads and make sure they're aimed at the landscape, not the street, driveway, or sidewalk.
  • Give your sprinkler a rest on windy days. There are certain things to avoid during windy days.  Watering your lawns is one of them.
  • Rain and freeze sensors are water savers.  They trigger automatic systems to shut off during downpours or when temperatures dip near freezing.  And could reduce your outdoor us by 5 - 10 percent.
  • Smart controllers know when to say when.  They are like irrigation clocks that automatically adjust run times in response to weather conditions.
  • Water by the drop.  Use drip irrigation for trees, shrubs, and flowerbeds.  Drip systems put water in the root zone - that's right where the plants need it.  And adapters make it easy to convert from spray to drip.
  • Replace the thirsty turf.  Grass is great for play spaces, but do we really need so much?  Replace those little used areas of your lawn with other types of landscaping or water stingy plants.

Want to Learn More? 

5 Skills to Save Your Life in Water

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