Each year, at about this time, we start hearing about Boulder County watering restrictions, and no one is surprised anymore. It’s part and parcel with living in an arid environment.
So far the City of Boulder has not imposed any watering restrictions for 2014, but did ask residents to refrain from watering their lawns until the beginning of this month (May). However, Louisville and Lafayette residents do have watering restrictions in place this spring.
But if you’re new to the Boulder area or if you’ve never really paid much attention to what exactly Boulder County water restrictions entail because you don’t really have a lawn that you have to keep watered, here are some of the basics for conserving water during the spring and summer months. You can do them regardless of whether the water restrictions are a go or not.
Water early in the morning or later in the evening. When trying to save water, it’s better to water before 10 am or after 6 pm. The sun’s heat is much less intense at this time, so you’ll lose less water to evaporation. These are also good guidelines for gassing up your car as heat increases evaporation when you’re fueling.
Keep the lawn watering to twice a week. It’s not to be cruel to your lawn, but to train it to become more resilient to a climate with less water available. Many plants, especially grass, are very flexible when it comes to the amount of watering they need, so be frugal with your water.
Don’t water the sidewalk. This is probably one of the biggest ways to waste water while caring for your lawn. If you have a sprinkler system, make sure all of the sprinkler heads are pointed in a direction so that none of the water lands on the sidewalk. If you have a sprinkler that you move from place to place in your yard, be sure to put it in a place where it hits as little concrete as possible.
Check for leaks. Kinks in your hose or a damaged sprinkler head can cause much more water loss than you think. When you start watering for the season, check all the water delivery systems in your yard to make sure there’s no water leaking and if you find leaks, obviously, repair them.
Don’t mow, let it grow. This is probably the hardest restriction for me because I get all sorts of twitchy when my lawn looks overgrown. Spring months are the worst because, whether you’re watering or not, the green stuff grows wild in your yard. It’s like the grass is just as happy as you are that spring is here. But if you can stand it, try to let the grass grow a little longer before you mow it or set your cut settings a little higher on your mower, you know, if you have a fancy mower that does that.
Install rain sensors on your irrigation system. How many times have you been caught in a Boulder spring rainstorm only to walk by a sprinkler system merrily watering the lawn as if nothing wet is pouring from the sky? It’s annoying and pretty easy to avoid if you install rain sensors on your sprinkler system. Then you don’t have to be “that lawn.”
Overall, Boulder County watering restrictions are kind of common sense, so use your best judgment when watering your lawn. It’s likely the best way to save water and just because there aren’t watering restrictions in place yet, doesn’t mean we can’t be proactive about conserving water in Boulder.