Friday, October 28 , 2016, 5:06 pm | Partly Cloudy 68º


Water Wisely: Midsummer Heat Doesn’t Mean the End for Healthy Gardens

As the temperature climbs and water supplies continue to be a challenge, Santa Barbara County officials want to remind the public that July is Smart Irrigation Month.

July is traditionally the month of peak demand for water for lawns and gardens. With the current drought in California, the public can benefit by being aware of simple practices and innovative technologies available for homeowners and businesses. In Santa Barbara County, 60 percent of water use is for irrigation, and of that, 50 percent is wasted.

There are easy actions gardeners and property owners can do right away to help maintain their yards, such as watering only between 2 and 7 a.m. and reducing watering times by two minutes, which will save more than 50 gallons during each watering. Save even more water by adjusting sprinklers to water only plants, not driveways or sidewalks and patios.

Smart irrigation systems, which use weather data to automatically change settings, are available at many irrigation stores and can not only help control water distribution, but also make best use of available resources and save money in the long run. They are especially good for their self-reprogramming technology, which adapts to weather changes, as well as meeting any local restrictions or vacation schedules.

Even traditional controllers can be set to water based on weather conditions with the Watering % Adjust number that is posted weekly on Just match the percentage on the website to the “% Adjust” or “Water Budget” feature of the controller and start saving.

There is no better time to reevaluate home irrigation systems than now. Leaks are not only annoying, they are also water-wasters and by fixing sprinklers now, residents will save both water and money in the long run. By selecting and planting carefully, watering wisely, and maintaining and upgrading automated irrigation systems, consumers can save money, save water and see better results.

Working together, Santa Barbara County residents can protect valuable resources and the safety of their community. Click here for more ways to save water.

— Carol Rock is a publicist representing WaterWise Santa Barbara.

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