Who should use the Watering Index?

Homeowners, gardeners and landscape maintenance professionals can easily use the Watering Index to make sure the plants they care for are getting the proper amount of water. If your automatic sprinkler system is equipped with a “water budget adjustment” feature, the Watering Index can help you adjust your system on a weekly basis to reflect your landscape’s changing need for water. If you water with a hose or your sprinkler system which does not allow this type of adjustment, then you can use the Watering Index as a guide for manually adjusting your watering duration or frequency.

The Watering Index is a percentage based on the maximum amount of water you should apply on your landscape. Typically this is the amount you would use in July or August, when temperatures are high, rainfall is scarce and days are long. But starting in September, as days grow shorter, water stays in your soil longer and you do not need to water as much. Think of it this way: during a hot, dry week in July, you are watering at 100% of landscape’s maximum need. During December, you may only need to water a quarter of that much. So in December, the Watering Index would read 25%.

The current Watering Index for Kern County (4/18 – 4-24/16) is 65%. Please adjust your automatic timer, using the water budget feature found on most solid state controllers, to adjust water times accordingly. By this action you will save water, money, and our environment.