Saving water in your garden

Mrs. Gulch's vegetable garden 2012
Mrs. Gulch’s vegetable garden 2012

From The Pueblo Chieftain (Elizabeth Catt):

I believe conserving water in our gardens is the right thing to do for several reasons, and also that there are no good reasons to waste water.

It is not difficult to plan a water-wise garden. There are many books by Southwest authors that will inspire and educate you. There are also local resources like the demonstration gardens at the Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District near the Pueblo Airport and the Garden at Cattail Crossing in Pueblo West.

My favorite reasons for growing water-wise gardens are straight forward.

One of the rewards of a water-wise garden that incorporates many native plants is that it supports many native pollinators, birds and other wildlife. Native plants are soul food for native insects, and native insects are the primary source of food that almost all birds need to feed their young.

There are approximately 160 kinds of butterflies that can be found in Pueblo County, as well as over 60 kinds of moths and most of the 600-plus native bees found in Colorado.

From The Durango Herald (John Peel):

Of water used inside the home, about 95 percent is treated at a wastewater plant and quickly returned to the river system. Of water used to irrigate lawns, about 30 percent returns, and only after many months, he said.

Harris also has been active politically. In 2014 he helped state Sen. Ellen Roberts, R-Durango, create Senate Bill 17, which originally would have limited the size of lawns in new suburban developments. That idea tweaked a few people on the Front Range, so Roberts rewrote it to only call for a study of water conservation. It failed.

This year Roberts and other co-sponsors were able to pass Senate Bill 8, which will create training programs to help government planners implement water conservation programs. It passed.

Former state Sen. Bruce Whitehead was among about a dozen who stood in Harris’ and Carrasco’s lawn and dug a shovel into the soil. His personalized shovel was a remnant of his failed run against Roberts in 2010, but it was symbolic. His wife, Becca Conrad-Whitehead, had decorated it for the campaign and hand-painted “Working for Colorado’s future.”

Efficiency measures, such as sprinklers that direct flow more accurately, are helpful, he said. But the key is to reduce consumption.

“As far as savings, until you take away the consumption you really haven’t saved anything,” said Whitehead, executive director of the Southwestern Water Conservation District and a roundtable member.

More conservation coverage here.

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