It’s a Desert Out There!

Communication Developers HOA Owning a home in an association

We are fortunate to live, work and play in Southern Nevada.   With that good fortune comes a responsibility to adjust to and protect the environment of the arid Mojave Desert.  Our desert averages only about four inches of rain each year.  Reducing water use and water waste is essential to long-term sustainability in the desert.
The Southern Nevada Water Authority (SNWA) offers several suggestions on how to conserve water.  These suggestions certainly apply to all homeowners, no matter where you reside. One of their recommendations is to install low-flow faucet aerators that can reduce the amount of water coming out of your faucet by 50 percent, saving about 2,000 gallons of water annually for two faucets. They recommend choosing aerators with a 1.5 gallon per minute (GPM) flow rate for bathrooms and 2.2 GPM for kitchen or laundry sinks.
SNWA advises that most water waste is caused by improper or inefficient landscape irrigation. Because our dry desert soil cannot absorb large amounts of water at one time, the recommended method of watering our landscape is referred to as “cycle and soak.”  In Southern Nevada, it is recommended that we water our lawns three times a day, four minutes each cycle with one hour in between cycles. This gives our plantings water and allows maximum water absorption without run off.  Watering in increments gives the hard desert earth time to soak up water.  Once the water has been absorbed from the first round of watering, water again about an hour later. The moist soil allows water to permeate even deeper, creating a healthier lawn. If you water too long in one increment, the ground reaches a saturation point and water flows into the street.
Sprinklers should be checked frequently to make sure they are pointing in the proper direction and not over-spraying your driveway or other areas not requiring water.  Most sprinkler heads can be adjusted by turning the sprinkler with a firm grip of your hand or with pliers.
Approximately 60 percent of Southern Nevada’s water is used outdoors.   SNWA recommends that we focus on reducing outdoor water use such as landscape watering.   The water we use inside our homes, businesses and hotel rooms has much less impact on our community’s water supply than the water used outside because water used indoors is recycled and re-used.  You might consider converting grass to water-smart landscaping.  It’s appropriate for the desert and can provide exceptional “curb appeal” for your home.
Did you know that by utilizing pool covers you can save thousands of gallons of water each year by reducing evaporation?  Also, check your local car washes and be sure to patronize only “water smart” businesses.  Turning the water off while you brush your teeth can save over two gallons of water per minute.  Only run your washer and dishwasher when they are full.
A family of four in the United States uses 400 gallons of water every day.  By being smarter about our water use, not only can we save water, energy and money, we can help our rivers, too.  When we use water more efficiently, we leave more water in rivers and streams to support fish, wildlife and recreation.
This article is provided by Associa.