Just a week ago, San Antonio was put into stage 2 watering restrictions. What does that mean? Well, first of all, that means that the Edwards Aquifer was measured at below 650 feet for 10 days straight. Which, as you might guess, isn’t a good thing. It also means that you’re only able to water your lawn between the hours of 7 and 11 one day a week, which is determined by the last digit of your address. Hand watering, however, is allowed anytime.
A lot of people see this as a challenge. Like they feel a compulsory need to go out and hand water all day long on Sundays, or are compelled by some unrelenting force to water constantly between 7 and 11 on their given watering day.
This, of course, is a huge waste of a finite resource. There are plenty of ways to conserve, and ensure that your water gets used to its full potential.
1) Only water at night.
Watering at night has many benefits. The sun, surprise, isn’t out to suck up all the water, so more goes into the ground (meaning more water for your grass. Also, watering during the day can actually amplify heat on your grass. This means your grass can burn and turn brown anyway, which kind of defeats the purpose of watering anyway.
2) Fix your sprinklers.
It takes time to get a sprinkler system to work properly, especially if it’s just one you plug into a hose. You might have to go out into the lawn and get soaked a few times to get the proper timing and locations right for the soaker, but that’s ok. It’s a lot better getting wet once or twice than having water pour onto the sidewalk and into the street. After all, you’re not paying to water the pavement.
3) PVC pipe in your pots.
Take about a 6 inch long section of PVC pipe. Stick it into the dirt in your pot. Water your plants through the PVC pipe. Done. It’s simple as that. Why is this better than watering normally? Instead of watering the top of the soil and allowing water to soak into your dirt, you’re watering the thing that needs water most: the roots. This means you’ll use less water, your plant will absorb more water, and less water will evaporate up into the sky. It’s a win-win-win.
4) Plant drought-tolerant plants.
Succulents are taking the world by storm right now, but they’re something we in South Texas have been familiar with for years. Along with other cactuses and native plants, succulents are great for adding life and color to a garden without needing ungodly amounts of water to stay alive. Also, you can steer clear of grass…if your HOA allows it. Try xeriscaping with mulch or other landscaping alternatives. It doesn’t have to look like a desert. It can look pretty!
Water is going to get more and more scarce as time goes on, so it’s better to start thinking about conservation now rather than 20 years from now when everyone’s gardens are brown and dried up. With a little bit of effort, we can all do our part to ensure we have enough of this precious resource for years to come.
It’s pretty important, you know. I think I read somewhere that we need it to live or something.