It’s that time of year again – the days are getting warmer and homeowners are turning on their automatic sprinkler systems. It’s also the time of year when I remind my neighbors that their lawns may not need as much water as they think. (I’m sure they’re saying, “Uh-oh… here comes Tom again!”)
Why do I beat this drum every year? Because I know first-hand how challenging it is to manage our water supplies and get it to our region’s homes and businesses. Every day at the North Texas Municipal Water District, we’re fighting to secure new water sources, working to maintain hundreds of miles of pipes, and running thousands of water quality tests to ensure it’s safe for delivery to nearly 90 cities, communities, and utility districts across North Texas.
I also care about helping people manage their water bills. The costs to provide reliable water service are going up across the U.S., and it’s no different in our region where we must build new projects to support some of the fastest-growing cities in the nation, on top of funding critical repairs to older pipes and systems.
During the summer months, water use can more than double due to landscape watering, and it’s estimated that half of that may be wasted. To help our neighbors across North Texas manage water bills this summer, I strongly encourage you to check out the free online tool at www.WaterMyYard.org. Launched by NTMWD and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service in 2013, the WaterMyYard website takes the guesswork out of how much water your lawn really needs each week.
It is easy to set-up. Go to www.WaterMyYard.org and enter your zip code to choose the weather station near you. Then answer a few questions about your sprinkler system. The WaterMyYard program will automatically compute recent rainfall, humidity, wind and other weather conditions to provide a recommendation on how much water is needed and how long you should run your sprinkler system. Enter your email address and/or cell phone number to set up a free account and receive weekly watering recommendations, either by email or text. It’s that easy!
Most homeowners may not realize they could be over-watering their lawns by running their sprinklers too long, resulting in wasted runoff and higher bills. Don’t trust your automatic sprinkler system to know how much water your lawn needs – if you “set it and forget it,” your sprinklers could turn on when it’s raining or when the soil is already saturated from recent rains.
Spend five minutes today to sign up for WaterMyYard.org and take back control of your summer water use!
Here are other important reminders to help you avoid wasting water this summer:
- Check your sprinkler system controls after a storm – power outages can reset automatic systems to a “default” setting which may water more often than needed.
- Have your sprinkler system checked for leaks, misaligned sprinkler heads and improperly programmed control units. Licensed irrigation specialists can make necessary repairs and help set your system for efficient watering, using the fewest gallons required to maintain a healthy lawn and landscape.
- Check your city or water provider’s website for other water-saving tips, resources, and educational classes to help you use water efficiently and manage your water bill.
- Find more helpful tips and resources online at North Texas Water IQ http://ntmwd.com/conservation-tips/control-your-sprinkler/
Tom Kula, Executive Director Message