Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
Capitol Corridor
University of California
Capitol Corridor

Wait awhile before watering the lawn

Sprinklers don't need to run after rainfall.
Because of recent rainfall, California lawns have enough moisture in their rootzones to meet their water needs for the next several weeks, reported Matt Weiser in the Sacramento Bee. At a press conference yesterday, Chuck Ingels, UC Cooperative Extension advisor in Sacramento County, encouraged residents to find their automatic sprinkler controllers and turn them off.

“A single lawn sprinkler can use as much water as taking a shower,” Ingels said. “Many people don't even know where their (sprinkler) controller is. They are often hidden behind boxes or bicycles in the garage.”

The press conference was held jointly by the California Department of Water Resources, UC Cooperative Extension and UC Davis. The speakers noted that every drop of water saved by not watering already moist lawns will ensure there's more water when warmer months arrive. As part of the event, Ingels demonstrated a simple test to determine lawn moisture.

He easily pushed a flat-head screwdriver into the lawn up to its handle, indicating the soil beneath the surface is moist. If it doesn't sink in all the way or needs pressure, the lawn may need water.

In the coming months, there are many more strategies that can be employed to make the most efficient use of water placed on landscapes, which represents more than half of home water use.

Strategies include:

  • Determine your home sprinklers' output by conducting a catch can test
  • Program the controller to deliver water in short increments broken up with time for the water to soak into the ground
  • Use drip irrigation for plants and trees
  • Cover the soil with mulch to reduce evaporation from the soil surface

Read more here: Conserve water with proven landscape irrigation strategies

Additional home and ag water conservation resources are available from the UC California Institute for Water Resources,

Read more here:


Posted on Friday, March 7, 2014 at 1:43 PM
Tags: Chuck Ingels (12), drought (171)

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