Wednesday, March 25, 2015

50/50 Meter Cost Share Reminder

Receive a meter from PGCD at a 50/50 cost share before the May 1 deadline. For more information about this program call the PGCD office at (806) 883-2501.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Pick Up a Lawn Gauge Today

The greatest percentage, up to 35 percent, of water we use for non-agricultural use goes to watering our lawns. Your lawn only needs water twice a week and less if it rains. Overwatering our lawns can not only be costly and wasteful, but can also cause damage to the roots of healthy grass. Knowing how much to water your lawn will diminish these issues that many face in the summertime and help conserve water.
To help you know how much water your lawn is getting, we recommend that you accurately measure using a lawn gauge provided by  Panhandle Groundwater Conservation District, which can be picked up at numerous locations around the district (see below).
Using the Lawn Sprinkler Gauge
S Randomly place sprinkler gauge on your lawn and run the sprinkler for 15 minutes. Record the amount of water collected in the gauge.
S Repeat and take measurements at three or four different locations around the lawn.
S Calculate the average of all measurements and multiply average by four.
This will tell how many inches per hour your sprinkler applies to your lawn; e.g., if your sprinkler waters 1/8 inch in 15 minutes, the hourly rate is 1/2 inch, which is the ideal rate for proper soil absorption.
How Much to Water
Apply enough water to wet soil to a depth of 4-6 inches. After watering your lawn, determine the depth the water reaches by using a soil probe or screwdriver. Even during the hottest months, one inch of water per week is usually adequate. 
When to Water
Stress for your lawn is natural, especially during the summer. When your lawn is ready for water, it will have a grayish cast and footprints will remain in the turf. Wait for these signs of stress to appear before watering. Avoid watering on a windy day, and only water in early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation.
Type of Grass
When choosing what type of grass to plant, it is best to choose a type that is best suited for our area.
S Best Choice: Buffalo grass-normally remains green on as little as 1.5 inches of water per month, even during the summer. Due to deep root systems, 2 or 3 soakings a summer may be sufficient.
S Good Choice: Bermuda grass-requires about one watering a month during the winter and may require 1 to 2 inches per week during the summer.
S Not Recommended: Fescue-this type of grass may require as much as 3 inches a week during the summer and 1 inch per week during the winter.
Choosing low-water or native grasses will save water as well as many hours behind the lawn mower. You can find these grasses and other low-water hybrid grasses at your local lawn and garden center.

 Lawn Gauge Distributors

Amarillo-Coulter Gardens, Gebo's, Home Depot-Soncy, Lowes-Tascosa Rd, Home Depot-Georgia, Pete's Greenhosue, Potter Co AgriLife, Pride Home Center, Sutherland's, Walmart-Grand, Walmart-Tascosa Rd  
Clarendon-J&W Lumber, Lowes/Ace Hardware
Claude-Keith's Service Center  
Groom-Groom Hardware  
Miami-Roberts Co AgriLife  
Pampa-B&G Rental-Hobart, Bartlett's Hardware, D&C Greenhouse, Frank's Hardware, Gebo's, Gray Co AgriLife, Walmart  
Panhandle-Lane's  
Shamrock-Bartlett's Hardware  
Wheeler Hefley's Hardware  
White Deer-Freeman's Grocery, Joel's NAPA, White Deer Supply, PGCD Office

Monday, March 16, 2015

Install a Rainwater Harvesting System

What is rainwater harvesting?
Rainwater harvesting is the collection and storage of rain from roofs or from surface catchment for future use. The water is stored in tanks to be saved or directed into mechanisms used for groundwater recharge.
Why install a system?
In most communities, about 35% of water use is applied to landscape irrigation. Using a rainwater harvesting system can help reduce demand on our water supply as well as reduce water bills.
Rainwater harvesting can also help prevent flooding and erosion, reduce contamination of run-off, and turn storm-water problems into a usable water supply.
 Approximately 0.62 gallons per square foot of collection surface per inch of rainfall can be captured. This tends to vary because some water is lost in the first flush of the system, splash-out or overshoot in hard rains, or possible leaks. Some rainwater can be lost if the tank is full.  Smooth run off surfaces provide a more efficient method for capturing rainwater during intense rainfalls.
What supplies will you need?
· Catchment surface
· Gutters and Downspouts
· Leaf screens
· Storage tanks
· Delivery system
· Treatment/Purification
Cost of installation
The cost of a rainwater harvesting system can be as small or large as you choose to make it. There are various types of materials that can be used in each stage of the system. You can choose these pieces according to your budget. The size of storage tank and choice of potable or non-potable water will be the main expenses in your system. The tables below show average costs of the different options for each component of the system.
For more information view our rainwater harvesting page at www.pgcd.us.
Our rainwater harvesting system located on our office building. This 2500 gallon tank can be filled with just one inch of rainfall.

Rainwater harvesting systems can be as simple as this and can be used to water nearby plants. Average cost of barrel like this is around $100.



Thursday, March 12, 2015

Water Conservation Advisory Council Announces the Winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards

Water Conservation Advisory Council Announces the Winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards in Municipal, Agricultural & Manufacturing Water Conservation

AUSTIN - (March 12, 2015) - The Water Conservation Advisory Council (Council) announces the winners of the 2015 Blue Legacy Awards in municipal, agricultural, and manufacturing water conservation.

The Council celebrates innovators who champion preserving the state's most precious resource, water, by presenting the Blue Legacy Award. This award program recognizes outstanding water conservation efforts and successes of Texans. The nine winners chosen for 2015 will be honored during Texas Water Day at the Capitol, hosted by the Texas Water Foundation, on March 26, 2015, at 1:00 p.m. Find the full agenda for the event at www.texaswater.org.

The winners within each category are:

Agricultural
Dr. Shad D. Nelson - non-producer
Tim Miller of Millberg Farm - producer

Manufacturing
Cargill Meat Solutions Corporation in Friona

Municipal
Fort Davis Water Supply Corporation - population less than 10,000
Interstate Municipal Utility District - population between 10,000 and 50,000
The Woodlands Joint Powers Agency - population between 50,000 and 100,000
City of Frisco - population between 100,000 and 500,000
City of Austin - population more than 500,000

River Authority or Regional Water District
North Texas Municipal Water District

To learn more about this year's winners, visit www.savetexaswater.org or contact Mindy Conyers, council support staff, at mindy.conyers@twdb.texas.gov or (512) 463-5102.

The Water Conservation Advisory Council provides a professional forum for the continuing development of water conservation resources, expertise, and progress evaluation of the highest quality for the benefit of Texas.

Install a Xeriscape Garden This Year

WHAT IS A XERISCAPE GARDEN?
Xeriscaping is a method of gardening that requires choosing the appropriate plants for the location which can be maintained with little supplemental watering. Derived from the Greek term xeros which means dry, Xeriscape was coined during the 1970’s in Denver, Colorado, to mean water efficient landscaping. Well-designed xeriscapes can be enchanting and beautiful.

ADVANTAGES TO XERISCAPE GARDENING
·         Lower water bills
·         More water available for other uses and other people
·         Less time and work needed for maintenance
·         Little or no lawn mowing
·         Xeriscape plants, along with proper bed design, tend to take full advantage of rainfall
·         When water restrictions are implemented, xeriscape plants tend to survive
·         Increased habitat for native bees, butterflies and other fauna

CONSERVATION IS KEY
During the winter, almost all household water use occurs inside the home. In the summer, lawn watering and other outdoor uses account for 50-80 percent. As much as half of this outdoor use is wasted through poor watering practices. Changing small habits can have huge results.

CONSERVE OUTDOORS
·         Use a soaker hose to water flowerbeds, shrubs and trees more efficiently.
·         Check sprinklers frequently for directional aim and broken heads to prevent watering sidewalks, driveways and streets.
·         Place a rain gauge in an open area to measure rainfall. Only water to make up for what rain you do not receive.
·         Avoid watering on a windy day and only water in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation.

CONSERVE WITH MULCHES
·         Mulches are typically wood bark chips, wood grindings, pine needles, nut shells, small gravel, cotton seed hulls and shredded landscape clippings.
·         Mulches reduce weed growth, prevent erosion and assist soils in retaining moisture when applied and maintained at appropriate depths of 4-6 inches.
·         Mulches can be used where conditions are not adequate or conducive for growing quality turf or ground cover.

HOW MUCH TO WATER
Saturate soil once to a depth of 4-6 inches determining the depth the water reaches with a soil probe or screwdriver. For maintenance, 1 inch of water per week is usually adequate.


Monday, March 9, 2015

Civic Group Presentations

Panhandle GCD provides informational presentations for civic groups in our District. We would love to give a presentation to your club or group. Give us a call at (806) 883-2501 or email Korri Packard at kpackard@pgcd.us to get one scheduled!