Government

Water Authority: Turn Off Irrigation After Rain

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The following article was provided by the San Diego County Water Authority.

It’s the time of year when San Diego County gets most of its rainfall – and this winter it’s more important than ever to take advantage of every drop that Mother Nature delivers to us.

Residents and businesses should turn off their irrigation systems and leave them off for up to two weeks following storms that provide significant rainfall. A few rainy days can provide enough water for lawns to survive for long stretches without irrigation, and they provide a valuable chance to save stored water supplies for next summer when water reserves will be even more important to help our region withstand drought conditions.

After three straight dry years, the San Diego County Water Authority has declared a Drought Alert condition, and mandatory water conservation measures are in place countywide. For details about restrictions in different communities, go to WhenInDrought.org.

“Make the most of every opportunity to reduce outdoor water use,” said Mark Weston, chair of the Water Authority’s Board of Directors. “Widespread efforts to decrease irrigation following storms can save large volumes of water and help minimize the impact of any water supply reductions in 2015.”

Outdoor watering accounts for more than half of a typical household’s water use in California, and it has become a focal point for water conservation as the drought extends into a fourth consecutive year.

“It’s OK to let lawns show signs of stress in the midst of this extended drought,” said Jeff Stephenson, a principal water resources specialist for the Water Authority. “After a storm, do not begin watering again until the top one to two inches of soil are dry. Lawns that lose their lush green luster will rejuvenate with the next rain.”

Many San Diego County residents and businesses are taking the opportunity afforded by rainfall and cooler temperatures during the fall and winter to replace their high-water-use grass with WaterSmart landscaping more suited to the county’s semi-arid climate. Rebates of up to $3.50 per square foot are available for qualified turf replacement projects. Details are at WaterSmartSD.org.

RELATED VIDEO: Master Gardener explains how she made over her own yard to be more water-wise