838 million cubic meters of water was used for irrigation in 2010 alone. Majority consumers of this water were British Columbia (28%) and Alberta (59%). More than 60% of this water was used in the South Saskatchewan drainage region.
This Earth Day lets pledge to save the earth and one of her precious gifts – water. One of the main concerns of water wastage or overuse has been improper usage of water in lawn irrigation.
Here is how you can contribute to save water and pledge your allegiance to Mother Earth:-
Take proper care of your soil
Adding in organic matter to the soil helps improve its moisture retentiveness.
Mulching the surface of hanging baskets trap moisture.
Proper mulching of the flowerbeds and around the base of shrubs or trees in spring prevents restoration of moisture during dry spells.
Water retentive gel or granules can be added to the compost, unless already mixed. The compost can be used in hanging baskets.
Water at the right time
Watering plants at the right time helps in saving water. Plants watered after 12 pm and during afternoons significantly outperform plants grown with early morning irrigation.
Vessel Plants: Watering container plants in the afternoon leads to stronger, healthier growing plants compared to plants watered in the morning.
Garden Plants: The University of Illinois Extension suggests that the optimal watering time for the rest of the garden, is early morning when the temperature, the winds and the evaporation rate are lower. The soil is able to retain moisture for a greater time.
Drought-stressed Plants: If any plant starts showing symptoms of drought stress, you must water them even in the middle of the day. Evening irrigation encourages fungal pathogens to establish themselves and hence should be avoided.
Use the best watering techniques
Lawn sprinklers – When it comes to watering lawns and soak unplanted areas, sprinklers give you great coverage. The only difficulty with these being you can’t target specific sections of the garden with sprinklers.
Seep hoses – Seep hoses are meant to seep water out of holes in the hose. They get buried under mulch or soil, avoiding evaporation. They allow you to water established plants in a row, though best used on heavy soils as water spreads further sideways.
Hoses and watering cans – These can be used to water around plant bases beneath leaves, leaving the surrounding soil dry. Though laborious, watering with hoses and cans limits weed growth and takes the water just where it is meant to be.
Automated sprinklers – They allow water to drip or trickle into growing areas, whenever programmed to do so. They save time and effort, but are the most expensive options. Take into account the dry and hot weather when programming the system.
40% of the population (percentage still rising) are increasingly trying to save money on a water meter. Second and most importantly 70% of the water supply used at the peak hours in irrigation forces people come from streams or underground. A direct result of this can be seen in increased water prices and uncalled for environmental damage. It’s time we take a note.
Besides the above techniques, you can collect rain water and use it to irrigate your lawn. Water used to boil vegetables can be saved to water garden plants, as they are full of nutrients.
Methodical watering can help sustain the environmental balance. And how does it help you? You get the benefit of a smaller water bill amount.