Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Water Watch

Our city manager announced that we are now in a water watch:

The city is now in a water watch, which is the first level of alert in the city’s water operations plan. The city manager says the significant, lingering drought continues to deplete the aquifers from which the city receives its water. Also the peak daily consumption is unusually high.  Residents are asked to voluntarily reduce their water usage. This could mean allowing lawns to go dormant or no longer watering struggling vegetable gardens or flowers.
The city is cutting back significantly on the watering of irrigated parks, allowing the grass to go dormant. Water permits for new lawns will not be issued. If the conditions do not improve, the city could move into a water warning, which would lead to additional restrictions.

Our normal water restrictions are as follows:
It is unlawful to waste water in the city. The use of water for washing down buildings, sidewalks, and other hard surfaced areas is prohibited unless you receive a special permit from the city clerk/finance office. Permits can be issued to allow washing down hard surfaces for sanitary reasons or power washing a house to prepare it for painting. Outside washing (including car washes) is allowed anytime of the day between October 1 and May 31. A ban is placed on all outside water usage during the period of June 1 to September 30 between the hours of 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m. For customers with newly seeded lawns, the city will issue a permit allowing you to water during the hours of 12:00 noon and 7:00 p.m. Permits can be obtained, at no charge, by visiting the city clerk/finance office and completing an application process.

Our city encourages water conservation by giving out free low flow shower heads, supporting rain barrel events where people can get them for little cost and offering a rebate program for purchases of water saving appliances.  They also try to educate residents about ways to reduce water usage.  Plus, each household is put into a water use level decided by the average of usage from January, February and March each year.  When you exceed your water use level, you pay more for that water.  The city itself uses a lot of reclaimed water for certain parks and ball fields.

Our county extension agent is putting out information about reduced watering for gardens.  She says some people are over watering right now.  There are plants that just can't take the heat no mater how much water you give them.  She's also encouraging people to save their trees over their lawns.

Here is my current watering plan:

water by hand every day:
plants in raised vegetable beds
flower tower
purple fountain grass in front
silver falls in front
4 hanging baskets
purple fountain grass in back shrub border
purple sweet potato vine in basket
cosmos by grill
4 bird baths

water by hand three times a week:
26 containers
add water to "fish pond"

water by hand once a week:
7 succulent and cacti containers

run soaker hose in following areas for three hours each once a week:
front shrub border
bed under living room window
salvia bed along driveway
the forest
bed under patio eave
bed with butterfly bush
side garden with sumac
back shrub border (2 soaker hoses)

run soaker hose in following areas for one hour each once a week:
oval bed
bed with burgandy blanket flower
bed with hardy geraniums

water occasionally:
hens and chicks
lambs' ears

More plants will be rescued.  More plants will be abandoned.

In addition to collecting water in the bath tub.  My wonderful husband is now showering with a five gallon bucket to catch as much water as possible there too.


  1. We were in severe drought conditions for almost 5 years. That changed this year, but... we still are on a water restriction schedule.

    I do hope things improve for you soon with some nice long rains that refresh the plant kingdom and your body, soul and spirit.

    Love and hugs ~ FlowerLady

  2. Good ideas here to go by. We aren't doing it yet, but it's still a possibility. Good luck.

    Cher Sunray Gardens

  3. Looks like you and your husband have a good plan in place. We suffered through restrictions many years ago. It really makes you pay attention to water usage.

  4. We are better off here in south Ar. I have 15 flowers beds we water two times a week. The air is so hot it takes the life out of my roses. It is good two be saving with all our natural resources. We have stayed home all summer gas has gone so high.

  5. Good for you. .and WH!! It's a good thing he's skinny enough to fit in that shower with the bucket!! Wink at him for me :-)

  6. I'm always surprised to hear that people waste water on lawns like they do. Lawns go dormant--they don't NEED to be watered. THis obsession with green grass is silly in light of drought conditions.
    You're smart to come up with a watering schedule for your plants. Also, don't forget a good layer of mulch in your potted plants saves a lot of evaporation of moisture from the soil. That cut my watering in half last year.....

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  8. I think I am caught up with you. I enjoy your blog keep on writing.


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