Thursday, Aug. 15, 2019 | 2 a.m.
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Almost all water used indoors in Southern Nevada is recycled, making outdoor water conservation a primary concern year-round. According to the Southern Nevada Water Authority, about 60 percent of all water consumed in Southern Nevada is used outdoors and comes from our Colorado River allowance. “Whenever water is used outdoors, it evaporates and cannot be reused. Water resources get eaten up by anything with an evaporative water component,” said Doug Bennett, SNWA conservation manager. There are many ways to help curb wasteful water consumption, including seasonal watering restrictions, smart technology, landscaping practices and more. Here are some conservation tips for the fall season:
New fall watering restrictions on September 1
“Early September is still hot, but this is around when temperatures begin to drop. It might still be 102 degrees out, but it’s 102 at 2 p.m., not 9 a.m.,” Bennett said. From September 1 to October 31, outdoor watering must be curtailed to three days a week and those days are assigned by address, so be sure to change your irrigation and watering clocks accordingly. You can find your designated watering days on your water bill or at snwa.com.
- As the weather cools down, hand-watering is an option if your landscaping is struggling to adjust. “If you see your plants aren’t doing well after you switch your watering schedule, you can still hand water whenever necessary,” Bennett said.
Report water waste
Reporting water waste is another way to help with conservation efforts, and you can do so from your smartphone. “If you see water running down the street, a missing sprinkler head that’s shooting water into the air or anything like that, you can report it. If you submit the form online and include pictures, we can pull the geotag from the photo to identify where it was taken and fix it,” Bennett said. There are forms to submit depending on where you are in the Valley at snwa.com.
- Text CONSERVE to 85357 to receive a text message reminding you to change your watering clocks each season.
Tech for leaky pipes
Technology makes it easier to control and monitor water use. One conservation option is a smart leak monitor, wherein you attach a small sensor to a pipe, and it tracks water flow and sends that information to your cellphone. These sensors can help detect both large and small leaks. “Small leaks can be easy to catch—a dripping faucet or running toilet—but unseen leaks are very dangerous and can be catastrophic to your home.” Bennett said. “It’s estimated that 12 percent of all water being delivered to homes in the United States is lost to leaks.” Smart leak sensors can sense both small and catastrophic leaks, and you can use the app to isolate where the leak is coming from. Some of them even give you the option to shut off your water remotely if a problem is detected.
Tech for irrigation
“Through research, we found that the average person was overwatering by about 40 percent.” Bennett said. “Smart irrigation controllers are a great way for people to manage their irrigation systems from their smartphones.” Multiple options on the market connect to your irrigation control center, collect data and send alerts if something isn’t working properly. Some also make recommendations based on your watering habits, weather and more.
“These apps can help guide conservation practices and make water use simple. They also make people engage more with their outdoor water use and see how much is really being consumed each day,” Bennett said.
SNWA has a rebate program for Southern Nevadans who adopt smart irrigation controllers and is piloting a program for smart leak detectors as well. Smart leak detectors include Buoy, Flo by Moen, Flume, Phyn Plus and StreamLabs. For a list of eligible devices and to learn more about the rebate program, visit snwa.com.