The month of July is typically the hottest month of the year, requiring the most water for agricultural and landscape water needs. With this in mind, the Irrigation Association created a campaign declaring July as Smart Irrigation Month, drawing attention to water-wise outdoor water use practices: http://www.irrigation.org/IA/Resources/Smart-Irrigation-Month/IA/Resources/Smart-Irrigation-Month-Home.aspx
In support of this campaign, Medford Water Commission (MWC) and the Southern Oregon Landscape Association (SOLA) have obtained proclamations from State of Oregon Governor Kate Brown and City of Medford Mayor Gary Wheeler that declare July 2018 as Smart Irrigation Month.
Irrigation efficiency can be as simple as the proper adjustment of sprinklers or updates to older systems with newer technology in sprinklers and control systems. Some water utilities, such as MWC, offer free evaluations of sprinkler systems, along with rebates for Smart Irrigation Controllers. In addition, many water utilities, such as MWC, have information on their website about saving water: http://www.medfordwater.org/SectionIndex.asp?SectionID=9
Other organizations have information regarding outdoor water use as well:
EPA WaterSense: https://www.epa.gov/watersense/outdoors
Alliance for Water Efficiency: https://www.home-water-works.org/water-conservation-tips
What can you do?
Here are some tips to get you through the season.
- Check sprinklers and ditches for leaks.
- Clean intake screens more often. Aquatic vegetation and algae grow quickly as irrigation water warms up.
- To prevent pump burnout, consider purchasing a pressure switch or similar device that will automatically shut off your pump in case the water source dries up or the intake screen gets clogged.
- Irrigation amount for HAY/PASTURE this month and into August should be about 2 to 2.5 inches (gross) per week. To determine irrigation time, set up a grid of straight sided catch cans under the sprinklers, stop irrigating once the average depth in the cans fill up with 2 to 2.5 inches of water.
- Always check soil moisture in the crop root zone before irrigating and again, 24 hours after irrigation. Use a soil probe or shovel.
Medford Lawn Watering Schedule:
Ashland Water Conservation Website
Irrigation in the Pacific Northwest
Contact Paul DeMaggio at JSWCD. (redacted) with further questions regarding irrigation scheduling.