For Immediate Release
July 23, 2012
For additional information,
contact John Hardwick at 219-462-6174
The state of Indiana has declared Water Shortage Warning
Warning covers the entire state
On July 18, 2012, the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Natural Resources issued a Water Shortage Warning for the entire state of Indiana. Previously, 32 Indiana counties were included in the Water Shortage Warning. The warning means that all public water systems have been requested to initiate concerted voluntary conservation efforts to reduce stress on water sources and avoid water shortages. This means that statewide, all water users are asked to reduce water use by 10 to 15 percent.
After several weeks of high temperatures coupled with little rainfall, this week’s U.S. Drought Monitor has classified Porter County, including Valparaiso, as experiencing a moderate drought. Many parts of Indiana are in an extreme drought. For current conditions, visit http://droughtmonitor.unl.edu
During the last few weeks, the City of Valparaiso’s Water Department has experienced near record levels of water consumption, according to Utilities Director John Hardwick. Due the localized rainfalls of the last week, water demand is somewhat lower. “Our facilities are keeping up with the demand, but our operators are watching water levels on a daily basis,” he said.
At this time, the Valparaiso Water Department reminds customers of best practices for watering lawns and water use for non-essential activities. “During the heat of this summer, the key to efficient outdoor irrigation is applying enough water and only when necessary,” says Jim Pingatore, VCU Water Conservation Planner. Please assist Valparaiso City Utilities in maintaining the water supply by observing the following tips:
Tips For Watering Wisely
• If you step on the lawn and the grass springs back, it doesn’t need to be watered. Most lawns will need at least one inch of water per week. It is best to apply this amount of water in a single, thorough soaking, or two equal applications of water three to four days apart.
• The best time to water your lawn is in the early morning from 4:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. when winds are calm, temperatures are cool and evaporation is negligible. Do not water your lawn during the heat of the day, as this will damage your grass.
• If you have a sprinkling system, be sure the sprinklers are not watering the driveway, sidewalk or street; and install a rain shut-off switch to turn off the system in rainy weather.
• Rain barrels can be used to catch rainwater for outdoor plants, trees and flowers. For information about purchasing a rain barrel, visit valpo.us/MS4.
• Raising your lawn mower blade will promote deeper root growth of your grass.
• To conserve water, clean driveways, sidewalks and steps with a broom instead of a hose.
For specific questions about watering, contact the Porter County Master Gardener Hotline at 219-465-3555.