Efficient Use of Water

Xeriscape -- Focus on Water Conservation

In comparison to many areas within the Southwest region, in a average year, the Texas Panhandle receives ample rainfall for growing scores of plants without supplemental irrigation, and hundreds of plants with minimal supplementation. By implementing water conserving techniques throughout one's landscape from the planning and designing phase all the way through appropriate maintenance, the water we do have will be used more efficiently. My view of gardening is one of gardening within the limits of the climate and soil conditions for the greatest amount of beauty, working in harmony with nature and with minimum maintenance. When one applies a focus on water conservation using the seven principles of basic gardening, this concept of gardening is called xeriscape gardening. One of the most important aspects, then, of xeriscape gardening, is the efficient use of the water we do have.

Water Use Studies

Water authorities in drought plagued areas of the Southwest faced with water shortages have conducted water studies to learn whether water savings, monetary savings and maintenance time savings can be had by installing xeriscape landscapes in place of traditional high water-use turf grass lawns (fescue and bluegrass). These studies require individual residences to sign up for the study and comply with the requirements over a period of 3 to 6 years, depending on the study.

Some water authorities have encountered difficulties in enticing sufficient number of home residences to join the study. Despite this problem, water authorities have determined that water, monetary and maintenance (labor hours) savings can be substantial, with the greatest savings incurred when all seven basic xeriscape principles are implemented.

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