Wise Water Usage Tips for Pueblo West residents
While the weather over the past few weeks has been uncharacteristically rainy, Pueblo West’s traditionally arid climate and reduced snowpack this year make it essential for residents to use water wisely and understand the implications of plant selection on their properties.
The low rainfall, clay soils, and hot drying winds should be taken into consideration when designing landscapes or gardens in order to make decisions that produce the most successful growth and survival while using water most efficiently, according to Pueblo West Metro District Utilities Program Coordinator Katherine Kallenbach.
Pueblo West is an arid region with an annual rainfall of only 12 inches each year. The primary source of drinking water comes from the snow-pack above Twin Lakes Reservoir near Leadville. Kallenbach suggests examining the physical characteristics of your yard before designing and planting your gardens and landscapes. For example, sunny west and south sides are typically best suited for drought-tolerant plants while cooler north and east sides are best for low to moderate water-use plants.
Rock and native or low-water plants work best in the Pueblo West climate. If using turf, limit high water-use turf to high traffic areas. Otherwise, Buffalo Grass or Blue Grama are best in this region. Visit www.plantselect.org for drought-tolerant plant lists and other gardening resources.
Try grouping plants together by watering needs and adding mulch to planting beds from two to three inches, which can reduce evaporation and water usage by more than 25 percent. Once planted, align your irrigation system or watering schedule based on those zones’ specific needs to help avoid over-watering some areas or under-watering others.
Conserve Pueblo West water during rainy times by hitting the rain delay button on your timer or turning it off completely during wet weather patterns.
Walk your zones every month as irrigation systems must be maintained and checked for broken heads, leaks and sprayer misalignments throughout the season.
Water only before 8 am or after 7 pm to reduce water loss from evaporation and wind.
Water no more than 3 days per week.
Group plants together based on their water needs to avoid over-watering.
Use the “cycle and soak” method, which breaks up your total watering time, per zone, into three shorter intervals spaced at least an hour apart.
Smart controllers adjust your irrigation schedule based on the conditions of your landscape. A controller will automatically adjust sprinkler run times based on weather, soil type, sprinkler type and plant types. The Metro District offers a rebate for up to $50.00 or the cost of the controller, whichever is the lower amount. Visit https://pueblowestmetro.com/524/Smart-Controller-or-Rain-Sensor-Rebate for an application and a list of eligible WaterSense certified controllers.
Contact Kallenbach at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information on the efficient use of water and appropriate plant and turf selection.