Is it time to turn the sprinklers on? Check the Utah Division of Water Resources’ Weekly Lawn Watering Guide and find out. The guide is posted every Friday on the division’s Facebook page and website during the irrigation season to help Utahns target water needs in each county.
“The guide takes extensive data based on weather patterns and evapotranspiration rates and simplifies it into how many days per week to water based on conditions in each county,” said Marcie Larson, the division’s conservation manager. “Keep in mind these are general county recommendations, and people need to monitor their landscape and make adjustments as needed.”
As temperatures heat up this week, 13 counties have been added to the “one irrigation per week” category for the first time this season. This brings the total to 24 out of 29 counties with lawn watering recommendations and only five counties in the ‘no irrigation’ needed category.
April’s first lawn watering guide listed Washington County as the lone county with watering recommendations, with the rest of the state on hold because Mother Nature was delivering enough moisture. Then San Juan and Kane counties were added to the list. Last week’s guide recommended 11 counties run one irrigation cycle.
“Especially in the springtime, the guidelines vary weekly depending on what Mother Nature has in store, so we encourage people to check each week and make adjustments as needed,” said Larson. “It’s also a great time to test sprinkler systems and make repairs to ensure they are working efficiently.”
Also, if you have a smart irrigation controller, make sure it’s connected to Wi-Fi and receiving local weather data. If you don’t have a smart controller, check utahwatersavers.com and find out how to qualify for money-saving rebates. If you have a programmable controller, set it to deliver the number of waterings needed for your area, or switch it to the manual setting and turn on your sprinklers as needed. Remember that even though it’s getting hotter, most areas of the state are estimated to still only need one irrigation per week, with Washington, Kane and San Juan counties getting two waterings.
While the watering guidelines are county-wide, individual landscapes can also have different soils and microclimates that may require adjustments to the posted watering schedule. Microclimates are caused by local differences in the amount of moisture, sun, shade, air movement and heat in your area.
“Because Utah is one of the driest states in the country, it’s important that we use water efficiently. The average yard uses about 3,000 gallons of water for each watering, so eliminating one watering yields significant savings,” said Larson. “Proper watering also helps avoid problems with pests and disease and reduces costs associated with overwatering, saving time and money.”
Area-specific watering information may also be available from local water providers. For more information on sprinkler run times and maintenance, please explore the division’s Outdoor Watering Guide.
Water Check – Don’t think your sprinklers are getting the job done? Get a free water check to measure their efficiency.
Hall of Fame or Shame – Impressed or concerned? Report water abuse or awesome examples of water-wise use.
Utah Water Savers – From rebates to free landscape consultations, find out how to save both money and water.
H2Oath – Take Utah’s water-wise pledge and make a conservation difference.
For more information, contact Kim Wells, public information officer, at 801.803.0336 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.