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Now may be a good time to start using less water, gardening expert says

Published: Jun. 20, 2022 at 5:56 PM CDT
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BELL COUNTY, Texas (KWTX) - Most of Central Texas is not under any extreme water conservation notices, but now may be the time to start being more mindful of water usage, said Karen Colwick with The Bell County Master Gardeners.

“Our lawns, because they’re the water guzzlers,” Colwick said when asked about where a lot of water is lost.

She has an extensive background in saving water and most of her training revolves around trapping rainwater to use for plants.

“Water, it’s the new oil that we need to worry about, because it’s going to become more-and-more precious,” said Colwick.

Currently, many city-level restrictions are voluntary.

On Friday, however, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers closed several swim beaches at two Bell County lakes because the water levels are very low.

“May and June are typically our wettest months and we have not seen the rainfall,” said Colwick.

So using less water on lawns would be a good place to start saving, she said. According to her, about half of at-home water usage goes to irrigation systems.

On top of that, she has some other ways of saving.

“I have a bowl set when I wash dishes, when I rinse that water goes in the bowl,” she said. “Then when I get through, I take that water out, the grass doesn’t care if its even got soap water in it.”

Currently, the U.S. Drought Monitor has a lot of the area categorized in the higher drought stages.

A new map is expected to come out Tuesday, but hardly any positive changes are expected because of little-to-no rainfall recently.

“There’s a lot of ways we can save water, they’re just little things,” she said. “But it takes being mindful (and saying), ‘hey, that’s some water I can go out and pour on a plant.’”

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