Lower Colorado Rover Authority (LCRA) recently announced their partnership with Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service on the Water My Yard program. This service provides water conservation tools for efficient irrigation management to residents in the partnership coverage area. Since Lakeway MUD (LMUD) is a customer of LCRA, this tool is available to our customers!
Water My Yard is a program that starts at their website: www.watermyyard.org . Once your address is verified to be in their coverage area (only a zip code is needed), you can sign up to receive automated emails or text-messages to know how much water your landscape actually requires based on local weather conditions.
The science behind the personalized irrigation schedule comes from “evapotranspiration” (ET), which comes from the words “evaporation” and “transpiration” and is used to measure the amount of water needed to grow different plants. Different types of plants will have different daily ET rates. The Water My Yard tool is specific to irrigation recommendations for warm season turf grasses such as St. Augustine, Bermuda, Zoysia, and Buffalo.
For this tool to be effective in making personalized calculations for your watering runtimes, you will need to know your irrigation system precipitation rate for your irrigation system type. The different types of irrigation systems the Water My Yard tool will calculate for include:
|Multi-Stream Sprinkler Heads
Applies water in multiple moving streams across the lawn, typically in either a circle, half circle, or quarter circle pattern.
|Rotor Sprinkler Heads
Applies a single stream of water that rotates in a circular pattern over the lawn.
|Spray Sprinkler Heads
Applies a solid continuous fan of water across the lawn, typically in either a circle, half circle, or quarter circle pattern.
Applies water through dripping emitters in a buried hose in the lawn’s root zone. Sub-surface drip of turf only.
|Fan-type hose-end sprinklers
Applies to oscillating sprinklers manually attached to a garden hose and placed in the yard. The Water My Yard tool assumes full coverage (180 degrees) with no overlap.
*Images courtesy Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
Your precipitation rate can be calculated by inspecting your system for the type, manufacturer and spacing. If this is unknown, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service recommends the use of catch cans, simple devices that are manually placed throughout your yard to measure irrigation volumes.
It is always a good idea to inspect your sprinklers to make sure there is no damage or water waste occurring. Many times, irrigation systems operate at night or in the early morning hours. This limits your ability to observe if any sprinklers are having problems. Common problems with irrigation systems are broken sprinklers, clogged nozzles and misaligned heads. Typically, these can be easily fixed by replacing the sprinkler, cleaning the nozzle or adjusting the direction of spray. If multiple problems exist, you may have to contact an irrigation professional to conduct the repairs. Make sure that high grass or other vegetation doesn’t block or deflect the irrigation pattern.
For more information on the Water My Yard program, visit www.watermyyard.org .
The Aggie Catch Can Homeowner Kit is available on the AgriLife Bookstore at agrilifebookstore.org .