Though atmospheric rivers in October 2021 led to record rainfall across the State and storms in December produced more than 200% of normal precipitation, the lack of rain made January and February 2022 some of the driest months in state history. In addition, the April snowpack is 38% of average statewide-the lowest measurement in seven years.
As a result of the prolonged drought, continued water conservation is needed in Davis and statewide. To encourage water conservation outdoors, the City Council implemented a maximum of three-days-per-week watering schedule for sprinkler irrigation use that is in place until modified or lifted. The following schedule only applies to residential and commercial properties for sprinkler/spray irrigation and does not apply to other methods of irrigation, such as drip systems and hand-watering:
• Odd-numbered addresses: Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday
• Even-numbered addresses: Wednesday, Friday and Sunday
Large landscapes, such as City Parks and DJUSD properties, are restricted to a maximum of three-days-per-week sprinkler irrigation, but are not subject to the odd/even watering schedule. Different zones (areas) of the parks/landscapes may be watered on different nights. Tree watering by any type of irrigation besides sprinkler/spray irrigation is also not limited.
In addition, residents should be observing water-use restrictions, which include those adopted by the Davis City Council in February 2022 after the State enacted emergency water waste prohibitions. A partial list of the restrictions is below, the full list of restrictions can be found on the City of Davis website:
• No hosing down of hardscape, including driveways, sidewalks and buildings, structures, patios, parking lots, or other hard surfaced areas unless required for health and safety purposes
• No watering of outdoor landscapes in a manner that causes more than minimal run-off
• No landscape watering with sprinkler/spray irrigation between 9:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m.
Additional steps to help reduce water-use outdoors include:
• Keeping your irrigation efficient and fix leaks. A hole as small as the tip of a pen in an irrigation line can waste as much as 6,300 gallons of water per month. Regularly check your irrigation system (spray or drip) for leaks.
• Watering late at night or early in the morning. This can save 25 gallons each time you water.
• Placing mulch around trees and plants. Mulch helps to reduce moisture evaporation from your soil and can save 20 to 30 gallons each time you water.
• Prioritizing your plantings. Prioritize tree watering over turf to ensure that trees are receiving adequate water over the summer.
• Using AquaHawk to manage your water usage. Careful water-use management is the best tool to use to catch and repair irrigation issues and leaks more quickly.
For longer-term ways to reduce water use, the City encourages the community to consider utilizing greywater to supplement irrigation, harvest rainwater in the winter months, modernize your appliances, switch to drip irrigation, and convert unused turf to low water-use plants.
For information on tree watering, visit the City’s Urban Forestry webpages and the Tree Davis website. For more water conservation tips, drought information and the list of mandatory City of Davis water-use restrictions visit: www.SaveDavisWater.org. For more information on City water sources and drought conditions visit: www.Water.CityofDavis.org. The Public Works Utilities and Operations Department can be reached at PWWeb@CityofDavis.org or 530-757-5686.