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A Waterwise Guide: Ways to Use Less Water - Dubbo, Australia


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A Waterwise Guide: Ways to Use Less Water - Dubbo, Australia

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A Waterwise Guide: Ways to Use Less Water - Dubbo, Australia

  1. 1. HOW TO BE WATERWISE IN THE BACKYARD Remember AIM to: 1. Limit the amount of water entering the soil. 2. Increase the efficiency of water-use from the soil. A Waterwise Guide The more green leaf and the deeper the root system, the more efficient the water-use. WAYS TO USE LESS WATER • Fix up leaking pipes, taps, water tanks, swimming pools, fishponds and over-flowing septic tanks. • Wash cars on the lawn, use a bucket of water and avoid chemicals. Do not leave hose running whilst washing. Turn it off. LAWNS • Driveways and paved areas sweep with a broom. Collect and dispose of debris responsibly. Do not hose off as: Improve Lawn Care and Watering Practices a. it wastes water (5 minutes = 100 litres). b. it unnecessarily adds water to the soil. c. any chemicals, pesticides, fertilisers and rubbish will wash straight down the stormwater system and out into the waterways. Contamination of waterways. DO NOT OVER-WATER • Keep gutters and stormwater drains free of pollutants. POLLUTION - AVOID IT. • Rainwater - install a tank. Catch some of your own water supply for drinking water, Only apply as much as the lawn can use. vegies/garden, pools and fishponds. WHAT happens if you do over-water? • Hot Water Systems - extend the drip overflow pipe to a nearby water-loving plant to use the water. • You are wasting water: depleting water supplies unnecessarily • Air conditioner units condensation (water) don’t waste it, pipe it to a water-loving • You are throwing your money away, remember, every drop counts in $’s. plant to use. • You are stressing your own lawn. : depriving it of nutrients (leaching) • If an area of the yard tends to have a problem of surface water ponding you can : damaging your own soil a. Direct water away through a slotted pipe sub-surface drainage, to a structured : lawn looks yellowish drainage line. : builds up thatch b. Plant water-loving plants around the area, to use the water. • You are making more work for yourself. • You are damaging the environment. • Water that drips from your stormwater pipe outlet, use it by planting a deep rooting evergreen tree/shrub nearby. A lawn can only use the amount of water it needs, excess water will only cause damage: • Running water from a hose, just to play with it, is an expensive way to have fun. WHAT A WASTE! Unused water in the soil. • The excess/wasted water infiltrates soil causing water-tables to rise and SALINITY to occur, or • Reduce lawn area, apply less water and encourage roots to grow deep. worsen, if not in your backyard then definitely somewhere nearby lower down on the slope. • Increase garden area of trees/shrubs and keep mulched. • The excess/wasted water can cause waterlogging, if not in your backyard, somewhere else • Select plants with deep root systems. They are more efficient users of water, therefore, less water nearby. is required to be applied. • The excess/wasted water leaches fertiliser nutrients through the soils polluting groundwater and • Select a greater portion of natives and evergreens v’s deciduous plants (no leaf = no water use). waterways. • Create a WATER EFFICIENT GARDEN. • Deprives your lawn of nutrients, damages soil structure and the “Biomass of the Soil” Over-watering causes lots of damage and cost, IT IS NOT WORTH IT. LESS WATER = SAVED MONEY TAKE MORE CARE, BE WATERWISEEarth care Dubbo Printing Works Earth care
  2. 2. IMPROVING LAWN CARE AND WATERING PRACTICES LAWNS • The more you water it, the more it depends on you.Soil Improvement and Fertilisers • The more you water it, the more you have to mow it.Keep soil conditioned with high content of Humus (organic matter). Humus increases and maintains soil • The more you water it, the more fertiliser it will need.structure. Humus helps soil absorb and retain moisture content for longer periods, improving both All that watering, increases your costs and can cause damage to your soil and the environment.nutrient and water holding capacity. • It is expensive and it takes a lot of time and effort. Is it worth it?Reducing the amount of water you need to apply: - the less water, then less fertiliser is needed. • If you don’t use it - ask yourself - why have it?Lawn clippings left on lawn breakdown, returning nutrients and organic matter to the soil. Reducing Lawn Areas:The use of organic fertilisers and manures help maintain organic matter, also assisted with the occasional • Paving of an area for entertainment (low maintenance, no water needed).coring of the soil. Avoid the use of any chemicals. • An area of too much shade makes it difficult for lawns to grow. Convert it to a paved or mulchedMowing area (no need for water).Avoid close to the ground mowing. Only one third of the leaf area should be cut. Leave a leaf • Establish or replace a lawn with a water efficient grass. They have a lower demand for water andblade length of at least 20mm. This will protect the soil and the base of the grass from damage and are generally drought tolerant.exposure to the sun and reduces evaporation - more green leaf, more efficient water use. • Create a WATERWISE garden. Convert unused/unwanted lawn areas into an area of treesDO NOT EXPOSE THE SOIL. and shrubs that are efficient water users (low maintenance, low cost, minimal water required, helps environment, attracts birds and you have more time to relax and enjoy it).WateringThe most efficient way to water your lawn is to give it just enough to survive. If you limit the amount of water you add to the soil, the more WATER EFFICIENT your garden will be.The less frequently you water the lawn the more you will encourage a deeper root system todevelop in search for water deeper in the soil.The more you can limit the amount of water you add to your soil, the more efficient the lawn will beand the less it depends on you. HOW TO BE WATERWISE IN THE HOUSEHow much and how often you need to irrigate depends on grass type, soil type and the time of year. Remember: USE LESS WATERGenerally, when soil is dry down to a depth of 15cm or, when grass shows signs of wilting, then give One bucket of water =10 litres of waterit a deep drink to wet the soil to the depth of 15cm. You can check depth of moisture with a moistureprobe or skewer. Following these simple tips can SAVE you money by the bucket loads! Showers: Keep it short. Install a water-saving shower rose.Time Toilets: Install a dual flush. Half flush is adequate most of the time. Share flushes!The best time to water is between 5pm to 8am (minimising evaporation). Shaving: Use the plug and put enough water in the basin.Do not apply water: Turn off tap whilst shaving. • In the heat of the day. Brushing Teeth: Use a mug. Turn off tap whilst brushing teeth. • Whilst it is windy. Kitchen Sink: Use the plug and put enough water in the sink for rinsing dishes and • When it is raining or naturally wet periods (let nature do it). washing vegetables. • Late Autumn and Winter months (dormant period no plant growth - no need for water). Dripping Taps: Fix it. A dripping tap can waste 30 litres of water or more a day.Those with automatic watering systems must switch them off during these times.Irrigation systems: The more efficiently you operate the watering system, the more you can reduce Verandahs: Sweep with a broom. Five minutes with a hose wastes up to 100 litres.your water-use. Washing Machines • Seek professional advise for a system that can be designed and fitted to suit your needs. and Dishwashers: Wait for a full load. • Avoid misting sprays and fix leaks. • Water only the lawn (not pavers, driveways and areas not required). Hot Water Systems: Position as close as possible to bathrooms, kitchen and laundry areas. • Do Not Over-Water:- only apply as much as the lawn can use.ENCOURAGE LAWNS TO BE WATER EFFICIENT