Facts and tips on water usage and conservation are presented weekly by the city of Walla Walla, in partnership with Walla Walla Community College and the Union-Bulletin.

Precipitation and moisture

Last May: 3.26 inches

This May so far: 0.03 inches

Chinook salmon return numbers

Fish numbers in the Walla Walla River counted at Nursery Street Bridge in Milton-Freewater, as of May 11, 2021, are spring chinook, 6, and steelhead, 244.

Data collected by The Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation Department of Natural Resources; funding provided by Bonneville Power Administration.

Water usage

This week’s average water use by all city customers: 15.12 million gallons per day. Last week’s average water use: 14.20 million gallons per day. Second week of May 2020 average water use: 10.37 million gallons per day.

Water use guidelines

For the week of May 7-13, precipitation was 0.0 inches and turf grass in the area used 1.3 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data.

Home irrigators should have run spray-type sprinklers two times for 26 minutes and rotor-type sprinklers two times for 97 minutes. Calculations are based on average precipitation rates. Please adjust for local conditions.

Yard care and water savings tips

Lawns and vegetables are picky. They need several hours of full sun as well as level, well-drained soil and irrigation. Limit lawn areas to where you need them. Other plants are better for shade, soggy sites or slopes and require less maintenance.

Be a leak detective. Check all hoses, connectors and faucets regularly for leaks.

Give plants a good start. Prepare the soil by mixing 20-25% compost into soil in planting beds. For trees and shrubs, mix compost into the whole planting bed or plant in native soil and mulch well. Don’t add compost just to their planting holes — that can limit root growth. Set plants so the soil level is at the same height on the stem was at the nursery to prevent problems. Mulch new plantings well, and be sure to water even drought-tolerant plants during their first few summers, until they build deep roots.

Water wider. Tree root tips need water; the base of the tree doesn’t. Water around the drip line, located directly under the circumference of the tree.

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