Top Tools for Water Conservation - Waterwise Gardening, Los Alamos


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Top Tools for Water Conservation - Waterwise Gardening, Los Alamos

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Top Tools for Water Conservation - Waterwise Gardening, Los Alamos

  1. 1. Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service • Los Alamos Department of Public UtilitiesWaterwise Gardening MAY 2009 Top Tools for Water Conservation This Issue By Matthew Dickens, DPU Conservation Coordinator • Top Tools for Ed. Note: After hundreds of local, Los Alamos controllers lacking this programmed Water Conservation County, home audits to assist homeowners in intelligence. In Los Alamos 30 percent • Master Gardeners saving water, DPU’s Matthew Dickens has of our water use is concentrated out- • Plant of the Month identified some of the most effective, economical doors. A Smart Controller could allow • New Mexico’s and easy-to-use devices available today. a 9 percent savings on total water use. Drought Outlook Spring is here and we’re getting busy Slow Stream Spray Heads Water Rule W-8 in our yards., and busy shopping for now in effect our yards, When visiting a home Slow stream spray heads/nozzles, through improvement store, or an irrigation such as the MP Rotator, allow home september 30, 2009 supply shop, you might consuder irrigators to increase their irrigation The DPU’s local the following water conservation system’s distribution uniformity (DU*) Water Rule W-8 requires tools. These tools help to conserve to approximately 80 percent, compared that watering be done water, minimize water waste, and to a standard DU of 65 percent. before 10 a.m and after improve your yard’s overall health Additional benefits offered include a 5 p.m. to avoid the high and appearance. In this issue we low application rate that reduces runoff evaporaiton rates that recommend home irrigation tools and on sloped turf areas and compacted occur during the heat of upgrades that will assist with each of soils. Slow stream spray heads/nozzles the day. Also required is those goals. also work efficiently with low water watering every other day pressures and operate multiple according to your address. Recommended irrigation zones simultaneously. Odd addresses: Wed., Fri. Home Irrigation Upgrades *Distribution Uniformity – For irrigation, & Sun. Even addresses on DU measures how uniformly water is applied Tues., Thurs. & Sat. Smart Controllers/Timers to a given area, expressed in percent. Smart controllers have been in Drip Irrigation Systems Waterwise commercial practice for many years, but Contributors the equipment is being redesigned and Drip irrigation systems can nearly marketed for homeowners and non- double irrigation efficiencies, by Matthew Dickens irrigation professionals. Advances allow emitting water directly to the plant’s Los Alamos customers to readily establish irrigation root zone, where the water is needed. Dept of Public Utilities schedules that integrate plant water A drip system, when properly designed matthew.dickens @ needs with historical weather data and managed, efficiently maintains an, 662-8234 including local solar, temperature and optimal range of moisture in the soil Carlos Valdez moisture levels. Some controllers use because it applies water in a precise Los Alamos programmed data while others receive manner and reduces water waste caused Cooperative Extension information via satellite. The controller by misting, overspray and runoff. takes into account the weather data Drip systems come in a variety of 662-2656 and automatically adjusts the irrigation packages ranging from a more complex run times, increasing efficiency while installation method, to those ready Editor: Allison Majure reducing overall outdoor water use. to use out of the box. Regardless, it is Los Alamos Results from an independent study important to make sure that your new Dept of Public Utilities suggest that the smart controller drip system is capable of fulfilling your can save up to 30 percent more than irrigation needs. 662-8133
  2. 2. Who are the Master Gardeners?Los Alamos Cooperative Extension Service • Los Alamos Department of Public Utilities All across the United States there are volunteer Master Gardener organizations that work with state university extension services and their communities to provide educational services to gardeners. Here in New Mexico the first program to be established was in Bernalillo County in 1981 by Jim Saiz. Training was also available to surrounding counties and later those counties established their own programs. Water efficiency and xeric plants are among the many areas of expertise provided. The Los Alamos County Extension agent for our local Master Gardeners organization is Carlos Valdez,Waterwise Gardening ( ; 662-2656). Mr. Valdez can put you in touch with Los Alamos’ Master Gardening volunteers. Also available through the statewide Master Gardeners web site ( is an email “Questions Answered” service. Send your inquiry to: Plant of the Month, Sunrose Sunrose (Helianthemum nummularium) is a semi-woody perennial shrub that remains a garden favorite M N year after year. From the second week of May until the third week of June, this low-growing plant is covered with small flat blossoms. Varieties with many different flower colors are available. Once the blooms are gone, the mounds of leaves remain all year long. The silver- and gray-green-leaved varieties, in particular, look fresh and beautiful throughout the winter. At six to ten-inches high with an 18-inch spread, Helianthemum function well in many garden situations and once established, is exceptionally drought-tolerant, making it a perfect addition to the xeriscape garden. The same plant will also thrive in a partly-shady perennial border. New Mexico State University is an equal opportunity, affirmative action employer and educator. NMSU, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Los Alamos County cooperate to fund the local Extension Office. U.S. Drought Monitor May 12, 2009 Valid 7 a.m. EST New Mexico Drought Conditions (Percent Area) None D0-D4 D1-D4 D2-D4 D3-D4 D4 Current 21.9 78.1 46.0 17.2 0.0 0.0 Last Week 21.9 78.1 36.8 13.5 0.0 0.0 (05/05/2009 map) 3 Months Ago 49.6 50.4 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 (02/17/2009 map) Start of Calendar Year 76.6 23.4 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 (01/06/2009 map) Start of Water Year 70.7 29.3 1.5 0.0 0.0 0.0 (10/07/2008 map) One Year Ago 26.9 73.1 50.0 6.9 0.0 0.0 (05/13/2008 map) Intensity: D0 Abnormally Dry D3 Drought - Extreme D1 Drought - Moderate D4 Drought - Exceptional D2 Drought - Severe The Drought Monitor focuses on broad-scale conditions. Local conditions may vary. See accompanying text summary for forecast statements. Released Thursday, May 14, 2009 Author: D. Miskus/M. Rosencrans/A. Artusa, CPC/NOAA