City of Bend urges water conservation as drought conditions persist

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Considering regional drought conditions and a seasonal increase in water use to accommodate landscape irrigation, the City of Bend is asking customers to be vigilant in conserving water this season.

“Like many areas of Oregon, we are experiencing extreme drought conditions in Deschutes County this summer and we need to be extra mindful of our water use,” said Dan Denning, Bend’s Water Conservation Program Manager.

The City’s “Water Use” Code is in effect every irrigation season, and specifically outlines watering days/hours and prohibits waste due to sprinkler runoff.

These rules are carefully thought out to balance the demands on our water system and reliably meet the needs of Bend’s customers for drinking water and outdoor use for landscapes.

Additional water-use tips to consider during a drought include:

  • Tip one – Prioritize water to trees over other plants in the landscape to prevent costly tree replacement and maintain a tree’s benefit to your landscape.
  • Tip two – Let grass grow to 3 to 4 inches between mowing to reduce water evaporation and consider low-water use plants in street strip planters as an alternative to grass.
  • Tip three – Regularly watch sprinklers run to catch leaks and misaligned heads. Don’t let water reach the street.
  • Tip four – Upgrade to a “Smart Irrigation Controller” to apply water only when plants need it.Install high efficiency sprinkler nozzles to slow the flow of water and improve soil absorption.

“With 60% of our water going through a landscape sprinkler system, our outdoor sprinkler systems are the most likely place to find an opportunity to save,” Denning explains.

Promoting water conservation and protecting water resources are City priorities and included in the City Council’s goals.

See the Bend water conservation webpage for more helpful information. Becoming aware of water use is the first step in conserving water. Log in to the City of Bend WaterSmart portal at www.bendoregon.gov/watersmartinfo to learn how much water you use.

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