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Tuesday, June 9th 2015, 6:38pm

Setting zone times in water starved S California

I live in Fountain Valley, Orange County California, and the city just imposed "Level 2" water restrictions because of our multi-year drought. Fortunately, they also just installed new digital water meters for all residences, and it measures your water use to the closest 1/1000 of a cubic foot, which is about 0.96 Ounces, believe it or not. I used this meter to determine the Gal. per Minute (GpM) for each of my 12 zones. I then measured the area of each zone and calculated the inches of irrigation I was applying to each zone each week. I compared that to a UC Davis study of how much weekly irrigation a lawn really needs. The study covered two types of grass and nine different climate zones (all in California). We live in the Southern Coastal Region and have a cool season grass type. I discovered I was watering the grass about right in the summer months, but too much in the winter months, and I was greatly overwatering the beds all the time. We are now only able to water on two specific days each week, with a maximum of 15 minutes for each zone each day. That turns out to be plenty of water for both the lawns and the beds, even in our hot months (July and August). I have also measured the evaporation rate for our swimming pool, and our water softener measures our inside water use each day, so we have a very good idea of where our water is being used. Everything is still green after three months of the new settings.


Sunday, May 8th 2016, 6:59pm

I live in So Cal. also. At home I found that saving 25% was easy as everyone was using to much water. But now I'm renovating a rental property and get to start from scratch. I'm finding that a 75% reduction is not that hard to do. I could likely do even better but the current building codes do not allow me to instal a gray water system.

Same with electric power. When electric power was dirt cheap people would waste it and not care. But now it make economic sense to install solar panels and go to near zero net use of power.

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