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How Much Water is Enough? Using PET to Develop Water Budgets for Residential Landscapes

R. White, R. Havalak, J. Nations, J. Thomas, D. Chalmers and D. Dewey

Conserving and reducing the amount of water used for landscape irrigation continues to be a major issue for municipalities throughout Texas and the nation. Landscape irrigation increases dramatically during summer months and contributes substantially to peak demand placed on municipal water supplies. A survey of monthly water use during 2000 through 2002 for 800 residences of similar size and appraised value in College Station, Texas indicated that average peak water consumption increased as much as 3.3 fold during the summer compared to the nonpeak months of December, January, and February. Although conservation education programs typically suggest ways to reduce indoor and outdoor water use, information that can provide homeowners with a realistic estimate of the amount of water required to sustain their landscape at an acceptable quality is lacking.

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