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On average, three times more water is used during the summer than in the winter in the Twin Cities, and much of this water is used outdoors. If you own an irrigation system or water your lawn with portable sprinklers, you can reduce your overall water use by implementing some practical strategies:
During a Minnesota summer we may see heavy periods of rainfall followed by extended periods of drought. Homeowners with lawns should adjust irrigation practices accordingly. Operating irrigation controllers in manual mode is one way to monitor and cut down on water use, rather than using an automated schedule.
3. Adjust irrigation programs to conserve water
Rain sensors connected to irrigation controllers are vital to conserving water. There’s no need for an automatic sprinkler system to be used when it’s raining.
5. Conduct an audit on your irrigation system
Irrigation auditing is one great way to conserve water. Irrigation contractors will often perform this service for you if you have a contract with them. Auditing an irrigation system includes three basic steps: 1) checking system components including sprinklers, valves and controllers, 2) conducting a performance test, and 3) programming the controller. For more information on conducting an irrigation audit, visit the website provided below.
For more information:
U of M Extension Lawn Care: www.extension.umn.edu/turfgrass
U of M Turfgrass Science Blog: www.turf.umn.edu
Sustainable Landscape Information Series: www.sustland.umn.edu
U of M Yard and Garden News: http://blog-yard-garden-news.extension.umn.edu/
Conducting an irrigation audit: https://www.irrigation.org/Resources/Audit_Guidelines.aspx
ET estimates for Minnesota: http://agwx.soils.wisc.edu/uwex_agwx/sun_water/et_wimn
U of M Climatology Working Group: http://climate.umn.edu/