PLACERVILLE, CALIFORNIA

Opinion

Hot June

By From page A4 | June 20, 2014

The bad news from the El Dorado Irrigation District is during the week of June 4-10 ratepayers only used 3 percent less water than the three-year average.

The good news is EID customers conserved 3 percent during a week that was hotter than blazes.

Here are the daytime temperature reading from the Mountain Democrat for those days:

• June 4 — 92

• June 5 — 92

• June 6 — 100

• June 7 — 102

• June 8 — 100

• June 9 — 107

• June 10 — 109.

109 degree Fahrenheit early in June! Holy Toledo! That should have been late July or sometime in August.

Right now the average temperatures for this June are 94.4 during the day and 56.1 overnight. The overnight minimum temperatures are right on the mark. From 1999 through 2010 the average overnight temperature for June has been 56.4. During that same period the average maximum daytime temperature has been 86.4 degrees in June.

On June 11, it was 107 during the day, but on June 12 it dropped 15 degrees to 92. Whew! Who would have thought 92 was cool?

So far this week, Monday through Wednesday, has seen highs of 86, 76, and 86. Also, as of Monday, EID’s three-times-a-week watering schedule kicks in. Find your schedule at eid.org/WateringRestrictions.

If the current “cool” weather keeps up there is no reason not to stick to twice-a-week watering until it inches up toward 100 again. Mature plants that are well mulched can do pretty well on only twice-a-week watering, even on a drip and micro-spray system.

If you have grass and are not on recycled water you are likely sucking up a lot of potable water that will be needed to be kept in reserve in case we face a second drought year.

Gov. Jerry’s Brown’s goal is to save 20 percent. EID’s board has called for reducing water consumption 30 percent.

Google the word Xeriscape and click on the option for images. It will give you a lot of ideas for good-looking landscapes that don’t use water-hogging turf. Golf courses in Cameron Park and Serrano go through an incredible amount of expense to reduce their water use without having brown fairways. Those two golf courses have already achieved 30 percent cutbacks. Their methods are not practical for an ordinary homeowner.

Japanese homes rarely use turf in their landscaping, even though they receive a lot of rain. Not everyone can execute a Japanese-style garden with expensive large boulders, but everyone can reduce their turf and expand perennials. Xeriscaping is doable and will keep the local nurseries in business.

We’ll end with a few words from EID General Manager Jim Abercrombie: “EID has reached out to its customers to conserve water so we can ensure adequate carryover storage in Jenkinson Lake, the district’s main water storage reservoir. Adequate carryover means keeping enough water in the lake to buffer against the potential effects of another dry winter. Many EID customers are conserving — we know this because we’re tracking both weekly and cumulative year-to-date water conservation.

“It is always best to plan for the worst and hope for the best. EID is planning for another dry year. While we hope next winter is a wet one, with your help, we will be prepared if it’s not.”

Mountain Democrat

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