Saturday, September 17, 2016

Drought Returns to Georgia

This the current condition in Georgia. We are again in a Level 1 Drought as of September 2016. The area under Moderate Drought or higher has doubled from 20% of the state last year this time, to 40%. No additional watering restrictions have been added so far.

What should I do?

We all want nice green lawns, but grass is the most easily replaced part of the landscaping. It's more important to protect trees and shrubs. However, the condition of the grass is a good indication of the moisture available to all the landscaping, IF WE WATER EVENLY.  So when you water, cover the whole yard!

There are various methods for conserving water in irrigation: some use weather data downloaded from NOAA. Others measure sunlight intensity, temperature, humidity, and the presence of rainfall. Others use soil moisture content. We will be experimenting with this, but my preference is always a direct measure of the desired result. So, moisture sensors. However, sensor quality can be highly variable no matter what kind, especially something mass produced for consumers.

And of course, collect rainwater! If drought levels worsen, there's a real possibility of a total outdoor watering ban. How can a rainwater system help? Even the worst droughts in Georgia are a 50% reduction of rainfall. Which means that most buildings can double their effective rainfall with a rainwater system, which should be enough to protect trees and shrubs.

Please contact Georgia Water Tanks for help protecting your valuable landscaping. Our primary business is supplying equipment to contractors, with design assistance and on-site support during installation and commissioning included. If you are a property owner and are looking for an installer, we can recommend several that are experienced installers. And we are always looking to train more!