10%20 Tips%20for%20 Water%20 Savings[1]

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Information about 10%20 Tips%20for%20 Water%20 Savings[1]

Published on December 20, 2007

Author: sherylwil

Source: slideshare.net

Roberta Tolan Colorado State University Cooperative Extension Larimer County

Make Small Changes for Big Water Savings 10 Tips

#1 Evaluate Your Expectations

Expectation? High expectation = High water use Low expectation = Low water use

#2 Change irrigation controller for the season

Cool season turf* April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Per week 0.50” .75” 1.25” 1.50” 1.38” .88” 0.38” *Figures from Colorado Springs Utilities. Typical Turfgrass Water Requirements in Inches of Water per Week

Base irrigation scheduling on July water requirements Cool season turf* April May June July Aug. Sept. Oct. Per week 0.50” .75” 1.25” 1.50” 1.38” .88” 0.38” % July 33% 50% 83% 100% 92% 59% 25% *Figures from Colorado Springs Utilities.

Get to Know Your Irrigation Controller

#3 Determine Precipitation Rate for Each Zone

Calculate Precipitation Rate Step 1 -- Place 6 identical, straight sided, flat bottom cans randomly between sprinklers in zone. Do not use short cans like tuna, water may splash out.

Calculate Precipitation Rate Step 2 -- Run sprinklers exactly 10 minutes

Calculate Precipitation Rate Step 3 -- Pour all the water into one can Step 4 -- Measure depth of water in can This is the precipitation rate in inches per hour

Calculate Precipitation Rate Note: If the amount of water in some containers is significantly more or less than others, it indicates that the system is poorly designed or heads are malfunctioning.

Converting Inches to Minutes Formula Water to apply (inches) Run time = ------------------------------- X 60 minutes/hour PR (inches/hours)

Converting Inches to Minutes Formula Water to apply (inches) Run time = ------------------------------- X 60 minutes/hour PR (inches/hours) 0.5 inches Run time = -------------------------------- X 60 minutes/hour 1 1/2 inches/hour

Converting Inches to Minutes Formula Water to apply (inches) Run time = ------------------------------- X 60 minutes/hour PR (inches/hours) 0.5 inches Run time = -------------------------------- X 60 minutes/hour 1 1/2 inches/hour = 20 minutes

 

Converting Inches to Minutes Zone PR Amount Run Time 1 1 1/2”/hr 0.5” 2 2”/hr 1.2” 3 1/2”/hr 1.0” Adjust run times to match water needs of each zone 20 min 36 min 120 min

Fixed Day Watering Schedule Water on Monday and Thursday nights Last watered Thursday night Friday 0.18” ET Saturday 0.21” ET Sunday 0.19” ET Monday 0.16” ET Total 0.74 inches used Minus rain -0.12” Net water to apply 0.62”

Water on Monday and Thursday nights

Last watered Thursday night

Friday 0.18” ET

Saturday 0.21” ET

Sunday 0.19” ET

Monday 0.16” ET

Total 0.74 inches used

Minus rain -0.12”

Net water to apply 0.62”

Fixed Day Watering Schedule With a precipitation rate of 1.5 inches/hour It takes 24 minutes to apply 0.6 inches

With a precipitation rate of 1.5 inches/hour

It takes 24 minutes to apply 0.6 inches

#4 Try Applying Water at 80% of ET

#5 Turn Off Sprinklers in Rainy Weather

Rain shut-off sensor Required by law in many parts of the country. Not yet in Colorado. Manually

Rain shut-off sensor

Required by law in many parts of the country. Not yet in Colorado.

Manually

#6 Soak & Cycle Slopes & Compacted Areas

Most compacted/clayey soils can’t absorb water as quickly as sprinklers apply it. Typical Front Range clayey soils = 1/4” per hour. If applying more than 1/4 inch: Use multiple short runs an hour apart Soak and Cycle?

#7 Hand Water Dry Spots

#8 Maintain With Good Horticultural Practices

Maintaining Landscapes in a Drought -Web Sites www.drought.colostate.edu http://csuturf.colostate.edu/drought.html www.watersaver.org (tree watering) http://et.csu.org/csu/et.jsp (Colorado Springs Utility www.water.denver.co.gov www.ncwcd.org (Northern Co. Water Conservancy District)

www.drought.colostate.edu

http://csuturf.colostate.edu/drought.html

www.watersaver.org (tree watering)

http://et.csu.org/csu/et.jsp (Colorado Springs Utility

www.water.denver.co.gov

www.ncwcd.org (Northern Co. Water Conservancy District)

#9 Let the Plants Tell You When to Water

Turf Leaves gray/ blue to brown and wilted.

Turf Footprints more visible due to drought.

Footprints more visible due to drought.

#10 Mulch, Mulch, Mulch

Benefits of Mulch Reduces evaporation cutting water use by 25-50% Promotes soil microorganisms Stabilizes soil moisture Prevents soil compaction Controls weeds Moderates soil temperatures Controls erosion Gives a finished look

Reduces evaporation cutting water use by 25-50%

Promotes soil microorganisms

Stabilizes soil moisture

Prevents soil compaction

Controls weeds

Moderates soil temperatures

Controls erosion

Gives a finished look

Mulching to Reduce Evaporation Mulch Soil Amendment Applied on surface Mixed into soil

Organic Mulch Primary selection based on desired appearance and cost . Wood chips decompose faster, enriching the soil. Bark chips decompose slower, requiring less frequent replenishment.

Primary selection based on desired appearance and cost .

Wood chips decompose faster, enriching the soil.

Bark chips decompose slower, requiring less frequent replenishment.

Mulch Application Depth 3” to 4” standard Best weed control Eliminates compaction forces of foot traffic 1-2” for poorly drained soils On compacted/clayey soils with poor drainage, 3-4” may reduce water evaporation so much that susceptible plants develop root rot on wet years and under frequent irrigation >4” -- may reduce soil oxygen levels

Depth

3” to 4” standard

Best weed control

Eliminates compaction forces of foot traffic

1-2” for poorly drained soils

On compacted/clayey soils with poor drainage, 3-4” may

reduce water evaporation so much that susceptible plants

develop root rot on wet years and under frequent irrigation

>4” -- may reduce soil oxygen levels

Mulch Application Around trees Great around trees, protecting from “lawn mower blight” Do NOT make “mulch volcanoes” -- Keep mulch back about 6” from trunk

Around trees

Great around trees, protecting from “lawn mower blight”

Do NOT make “mulch volcanoes” -- Keep mulch back about 6” from trunk

Mulch Application Chips over landscape fabric Standard procedure on commercial installations Greater soil improvement without fabric Weed seeds that germinate above the fabric are difficult to pull. Chips over newspapers Layers of newspaper block out light, preventing weed seed germination .

Chips over landscape fabric

Standard procedure on commercial installations

Greater soil improvement without fabric

Weed seeds that germinate above the fabric are difficult to pull.

Chips over newspapers

Layers of newspaper block out light, preventing weed seed germination .

Mulch Application Chips blow in windy areas Shredded type chips more wind resistant Generally not suited for windy areas. Chips float Not suited for area with standing water.

Chips blow in windy areas

Shredded type chips more wind resistant

Generally not suited for windy areas.

Chips float

Not suited for area with standing water.

Rock Mulch Heat sink Raising temperatures (summer “people space” issue) Increasing irrigation requirements

Heat sink

Raising temperatures (summer “people space” issue)

Increasing irrigation requirements

Mulch and Black Plastic NEVER use rock over black plastic in plant beds (soil water and oxygen issue)

NEVER use rock over black plastic in plant beds (soil water and oxygen issue)

Tips for Big Water Savings Evaluate your expectation Change irrigation controller for the season Determine precipitation rate for each zone Try applying water at 80% ET Turn off sprinklers in rainy weather

Evaluate your expectation

Change irrigation controller for the season

Determine precipitation rate for each zone

Try applying water at 80% ET

Turn off sprinklers in rainy weather

Tips for Big Water Savings Soak & cycle slopes & compacted areas Hand water dry spots Use good maintenance practices Let the plants tell you when to water Mulch, mulch, mulch

Soak & cycle slopes & compacted areas

Hand water dry spots

Use good maintenance practices

Let the plants tell you when to water

Mulch, mulch, mulch

 

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