Water is one of the most valuable resources in West Texas. It is our responsibility to use it wisely. In the event that Lubbock experienced a water shortage, a "Drought Contingency Plan" would be implemented which would strictly limit water usage by consumers. To prevent the need to implement this type of plan, Lubbock Water Utilities continues to evaluate water conservation strategies and is providing this brochure to its customers to suggest lawn-watering tips that conserve water.
Use of these tips will help Lubbock Water Utilities continue to provide quality service for many years to come, and save you money.
- Follow the Green Rule: Water deeply and infrequently. Deep means applying one to one and a half inches of water to lawn to soak down to a depth of four to six inches. Infrequently means water lawn when footprints are visible after you've walked across it. By watering in this manner, your lawn will be healthier and hardier, better able to withstand the hot, dry conditions of West Texas summers. The opposite is true for light, frequent applications of water which lead to shallow root systems making the grass more susceptible to heat and drought conditions. Water deep and infrequently. Remember: Rainwater counts too!!
- Know Your Grass Type: When planting a lawn, choose grasses which require less water. Watering Grass Frequency: Buffalo Grass - Every 2 weeks; Tex-turf-10 - Every 7-10 days; Bermuda - Every 7 days; Tall Fescue - Every 4 days. Note: Lawns require more water when first planted.
- Know Your Sprinkler: Choose an adjustable sprinkler to match wind conditions and area of application. Select a sprinkler which throws large droplets of water low to the ground. Some sprinkler designs throw mists or small droplets high into the air resulting in up to a 70 percent loss of water on hot, windy days. Use drip irrigation, soaker hoses and root feeders around shrubs, trees and in gardens. These allow the plants to soak up the water more slowly resulting in reduced water loss through evaporation or run-off, and deeper root growth.
- Know When To Water: Water in early morning hours when sun and wind are less intense and loss due to evaporation is reduced. Afternoon watering can result in the use of twice as much water on hot, windy days compared to an early morning dewatering. If early morning is not possible, the next best time is late evening.
- Know How Long To Water: Use A Sprinkler Timer. Sprinkler timers can help prevent over-application of water by the automatic shut off. They can be useful in determining how much water has been applied. On a windless day, set a few empty cans or glasses of the same size within the spray pattern of your sprinkler. Start the timer and run sprinkler long enough to put an inch of water in the containers. Adjust your sprinkler timer accordingly for future watering use.
- Know Your Soil: Watch your sprinkler to see if it is applying water faster than your soil absorbs it. Avoid watering your lawn to the point of run-off. If you have not applied enough water, move the sprinkler to another location until the water has been absorbed.
- Consider Reducing Turf Area: Replace grassy areas with rock gardens, decks, patios or xeriscaped gardens. Lawns are the biggest water users in home landscapes.
- Consider Mulching Around Trees, Shrubs, and Flower Beds: Organic mulches shield the soil from heat and wind, reducing soil moisture loss. A good layer of mulch, two to four inches of bark, composted material or straw, can also slow weed growth and improve soil quality. Commercial mulches, which can be found in most nurseries and superstores, include shredded cypress, pine bark, and cotton seed hulls.