Everyone must help during water crisis

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 13, 2006

&8220;When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.&8220;

&8212; BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, (1706-1790), Poor Richard&8217;s Almanac, 1746

The Shelby County Commission encouraged local residents Monday to limit water use as high temperatures and the absence of rain continue. Charles Lay, Shelby County Utilities Manager and Alex Dudchock, Shelby County Manger, asked residents to hold off on watering lawns until tomorrow. That&8217;s easy enough to do especially considering Monday&8217;s light showers across the county.

The voluntary watering schedule, which begins tomorrow, is simple to follow: if you have an even-numbered street addresses you can water on Mondays and Thursdays, if you have an odd-numbered address you can water on Tuesdays and Fridays.

What the county has asked us to do makes sense and should not keep any of us from having a nice landscape this summer.

Below you will find a few more tips for conserving water this summer from www.wateruseitwisely.com.

Adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk, or street.

Minimize evaporation by watering during the early morning hours, when temperatures are cooler and winds are lighter.

Use a layer of organic mulch around plants to reduce evaporation and save hundreds of gallons of water a year.

Use a broom instead of a hose to clean your driveway or sidewalk and save 80 gallons of water every time.

Only water your lawn when needed. You can tell this by simply walking across your lawn. If you leave footprints, it&8217;s time to water.

Adjust your lawn mower to a higher setting. Longer grass shades root systems and holds soil moisture better than a closely clipped lawn.

Water your plants deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.

Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light, and water.

While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.

Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.