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SEASONAL IRRIGATION PROGRAM FOR HOMEOWNERS ON AN URBAN ISLAND JERRY WARREN TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION BEXAR COUNTY SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS.

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Presentation on theme: "SEASONAL IRRIGATION PROGRAM FOR HOMEOWNERS ON AN URBAN ISLAND JERRY WARREN TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION BEXAR COUNTY SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS."— Presentation transcript:

1 SEASONAL IRRIGATION PROGRAM FOR HOMEOWNERS ON AN URBAN ISLAND JERRY WARREN TEXAS COOPERATIVE EXTENSION BEXAR COUNTY SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS

2 Where our water comes from? Is a unique groundwater system and one of the most prolific artesian aquifer in the world. Is a unique groundwater system and one of the most prolific artesian aquifer in the world. It is one of the greatest natural resources on Earth. It is one of the greatest natural resources on Earth. Serves the diverse agricultural, industrial, recreational, and domestic needs of almost two million users in south central Texas. Serves the diverse agricultural, industrial, recreational, and domestic needs of almost two million users in south central Texas.

3 Edward Aquifer Primary source of water Primary source of water Stretches over 8,000 sq. miles, only 500 feet below the surface Stretches over 8,000 sq. miles, only 500 feet below the surface In 1920, usage was about 22 millions gallons of water per day. In 1920, usage was about 22 millions gallons of water per day. In 2004, 154 millions of gallons of water are pumped each day. In 2004, 154 millions of gallons of water are pumped each day. In 2006, about same as 04. In 2006, about same as 04.

4 Major Water Providers SAWS: obtains Ground water from the Edwards Aquifer and Trinity Aquifer. Last year- surface water from Canyon Lake. SAWS: obtains Ground water from the Edwards Aquifer and Trinity Aquifer. Last year- surface water from Canyon Lake. BexarMet: obtains Surface water from the Medina River, making it the first facility in San Antonio area to treat surface water BexarMet: obtains Surface water from the Medina River, making it the first facility in San Antonio area to treat surface water

5 History BexarMet has provided water to about 250,000 residents of San Antonio, since 1999 BexarMet has provided water to about 250,000 residents of San Antonio, since 1999 SAWS has provided water to about 400,000 residents of San Antonio, since 1935 SAWS has provided water to about 400,000 residents of San Antonio, since 1935

6 San Antonio Economy depends on Water San Antonio has many tourist attractions and a growing population By Yr. 2035, Tx will have only 85% of water needed

7 San Antonios Growth Industry/Business & households Industry/Business & households Population Growth Population Growth –1990-2000 S.A. had 20% growth to 1.2 m –Reach 2 m by end of decade Growing demand for water Growing demand for water

8 Indoor Water Use Homeowner use 75% of their water indoors & 25% on lawns & gardens

9 Bexar County- Most Identified Critical Issues at Tx Community Future Forum Extension conducts a TCFF in each county every 3-5 yrs Extension conducts a TCFF in each county every 3-5 yrs Invite key individuals to identify & prioritize issues and concerns for county Invite key individuals to identify & prioritize issues and concerns for county Bexar Countys No. 1 issue Bexar Countys No. 1 issue –Water Quality/Quantity/Conservation and Access Bexar County must develop a water conservation plan to address this issue Bexar County must develop a water conservation plan to address this issue

10 WATER CONSERVATION PLAN Cooperative effort between Texas Cooperative Extension & San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Cooperative effort between Texas Cooperative Extension & San Antonio Water System (SAWS) Initial study started about 10 years ago- selected 65 homeowners to be involved in first trial. Initial study started about 10 years ago- selected 65 homeowners to be involved in first trial. Data used to make recommendations Data used to make recommendations –use changing variables for amount of - water to be applied vs. set amount and variable days –100% ET replacement used as appropriate protocol

11 CONTRACT WITH S.A.W.S. Texas Cooperative Extension-Bexar County and San Antonio Water System: Texas Cooperative Extension-Bexar County and San Antonio Water System: –TCE will make lawn watering recommendations to homeowners-daily from March 1 st thru Oct. 31 st. Monthly Nov. thru Feb. –Automated e-mail & phone message (6500+ homeowners) –SIP Hotline – manned by Master Gardeners –San Antonio Express News- Saturday Edition

12 www.saws.org/conservation/sip Web site for SIP

13 What Is SIP? SIP is based on Evapotranspiration Technology or ET SIP is based on Evapotranspiration Technology or ET ET utilizes local weather data to calculate how much water is lost from soil and used by plants over time. ET utilizes local weather data to calculate how much water is lost from soil and used by plants over time. These calculations are applied to turf grass and converted into weekly irrigation advice. These calculations are applied to turf grass and converted into weekly irrigation advice.

14 Does SIP Work? YES!! YES!! We have done studies for five years on SIP in San Antonio. We have done studies for five years on SIP in San Antonio. Participants have saved water, money and had great lawns. Participants have saved water, money and had great lawns. (Used with Permission)

15 How SIP helps homeowners? SIP advice tells you how much water your grass needs each week. SIP advice tells you how much water your grass needs each week. Each person selects day to receive message Each person selects day to receive message Find out first how much water your system puts out; measure using a SIP kit. Find out first how much water your system puts out; measure using a SIP kit.

16 Free SIP Kits Available Kits contain: 4 catch cups a rain gauge conservation tips refrigerator magnet

17 Covered heads Geysers Out of Adjustment Poor Design Free Irrigation check-ups can be arranged through SAWS

18 Grasses for Bexar County 1. St. AugustineNeeds Most Water (Best in Shade) 2.TIF Bermuda 3.Zoysia 4. Common Bermuda 5. BuffaloNeeds Least Water (Best in Sun)

19 Other Landscape Options Use Less Water 25% of Homeowners water goes to lawns

20 Mulched Beds & Pervious Surfaces Look Great!

21 Proper Aeration Proper Fertilization Proper Mowing Proper Irrigation USE LESS WATER AND LOOKS GREAT

22 GPCD Trends Average 5 year drop = 3.25 gpcd/year Average 10 year drop = 3.0 gpcd/year To Meet Goal = 1.3 gpcd/year over ten years Best proof of success

23 How do we measure success? One benchmark of long-term progress is gpcd (ALL water/All people) One benchmark of long-term progress is gpcd (ALL water/All people) –San Antonio is currently using 130 gallons/capita/day (gpcd) –This takes into account all household, business and recreational water usage –We use long-term trends to project long-term savings and water supply needs –Current long-term goal is 116 gpcd by 2016.

24 Savings Calculations Ex. Seasonal Irrigation Program Seasonal Irrigation Program –#households(9,000 gallons)/year –Based on comparison of households in same neighborhoods SIP/non SIP water usage –Assume no savings past one year during receipt of messages –$187/AF (one year assumed life of savings)

25 Tracking 2005; Dry Year 130.4 Actual 2005 GPCD 128 Dry Year 2005 = 133.71

26 Monthly Savings Calculations

27 Participation by Program 2006 = 6500

28 2005 Savings Highlights Distributed 23,500 toilets Distributed 23,500 toilets =over 700 AF saved =over 700 AF saved 250 indoor home audits, 29 commercial irrigation analyses, 263 residential irrigation analyses 250 indoor home audits, 29 commercial irrigation analyses, 263 residential irrigation analyses = 65 AF saved = 65 AF saved 5,112 participants in Seasonal Irrigation Program 5,112 participants in Seasonal Irrigation Program = 140 AF saved 512 households served by Plumbers to People Program 512 households served by Plumbers to People Program = 255 AF saved

29 Success Indicators 1. Increased Public participation 2. Calculations of AF saved/program 3. GPCD trends (direct programs dont account for all savings drought, cost increases, and change in expected norms) 4. Attitudes of the public is better

30 New Project started in 2005 Turfgrass Drought Study 60 day Drought Survival Study Initial preparation for 25 variety drought study on St Augustine, Zoysia, Bermuda, & Buffalo grasses Plot size - 4ft x 4ft & replicated 4 times

31 Drought Study Cont…. Half of Grass plots are planted on 4 of native soil over an impermeable plastic barrier Half on native soil with no barrier. Study Planted Sept. 05 include

32 Drought Study Field Day Same set of grasses planted on similar plot in 9/06 for study in 07 Same set of grasses planted on similar plot in 9/06 for study in 07 Grasses will be evaluated during drought & recovery period Grasses will be evaluated during drought & recovery period Results used to develop recommended Turfgrass list for Home Builders Results used to develop recommended Turfgrass list for Home Builders

33 Rain-out Shelter Shelter constructed to prevent rain Shelter constructed to prevent rain Sensors detect rainfall & automatically moves across the plot Sensors detect rainfall & automatically moves across the plot SAWS contributed $115,000 to project SAWS contributed $115,000 to project TPT contributed $22,594 + in-kind service TPT contributed $22,594 + in-kind service

34 SIP PARTNERS Thanks for your time


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