An answer to the drought


  "Trees need water and we need trees."

 

"Trees need water and we need trees."

It’s dry out there.

Our valley is deep into the fourth year of drought, and everyone is finally taking notice. The Santa Clara Valley Water District and San Jose Water Company are asking residents to cutback water use 30%. That’s showering for four minutes instead of six, or watering our gardens two days instead of three. However you calculate it, a serious change in our lifestyles is required.

Though it might seem counterintuitive, watering our trees is one of the best things we can do for a drought. Collectively, mature trees provide significant water and energy savings because their shade creates a microclimate below them. It reduces air temperatures within the city, reduces water demand in landscapes, and reduces the need for A/C and cooling devices within the home. Trees are natures air conditioners. Also, according to the Arbor Day Foundation, 65 to 100 percent of storm runoff can be reduced in residential developments, recharging the groundwater that serves as 50% of our drinking supply. That’s a lot

In short, trees young and old need water and we need trees. That is why it is so important that residents continue watering their trees even through a drought. The best part is, it can all be achieved by simply reducing daily water use. Young trees need 15-gallons per week and mature trees need several deep soakings (5-gallons) throughout the summer. Note: Native Oaks are an exception and should not receive any water between July-August.


Create your own water reserves:

1. Put a bucket in the shower or sink while you’re waiting for the water to get hot. Just make sure to not use harsh chemicals like cleaners, solvents, etc. (avg. 2-3 gallons per shower)

2. Manage flushing. If it’s yellow, perhaps we could let it mellow. Enough said. (avg. 3 gallons per flush)

3. Wash your car less frequently. Not to mention, residents can now get fined for washing with a hose. Ouch. (avg. 100 gallons for 10-minute car wash)

4. Install low-flow shower heads. (avg. 3 gallons saved per 5-minute shower)

5. Install a laundry-to-landscape greywater system. You can do this yourself without hiring a plumber. This is just one of many sites we found by doing a quick google search. <link: http://www.instructables.com/id/Simple-Laundry-Greywater-System/ >  (avg. 45 gallons per load)

6. Turning your thirsty lawn into drought-tolerant landscape. Visit our nursery <link> for plenty of drougbt-resistant plants and trees that qualify for local rebate programs, and stay tuned for our next post on how you can easily do this is a weekend. (avg. 1,800 gallons per week)

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