Water Watcher

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:  0.81 inches

This May so far:  1.71 inches

Snowpack level:  110%

Chinook salmon and steelhead return numbers

Fish numbers in the Walla Walla River counted at Nursery Street Bridge in Milton Freewater, as of May 21, 2019, are Spring Chinook, 5, and Steelhead, 216.

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:  8.19 million gallons per day.

Last week’s average water use:  11.22 million gallons per day.  

Fourth week of May 2018 average water use:  13.51 million gallons per day.

Water use guidelines

For the week of May 17 – May 23, precipitation was 1.39 inches and turf grass in the area used 0.95 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data.  Home irrigators should not have irrigated this week since precipitation exceeded plant needs.  Calculations are based on average precipitation rates, please adjust for local conditions.

Yard care and water savings tips

Feed your soil with compost.

Dig or rototill in 1-3 inches of compost (up to 20-25% compost in your soil mix) when you’re making new beds or planting lawns.  Compost works on any soil.  It helps sandy soils hold nutrients and water, and loosens clay soils.  Compost feeds the beneficial soil life, so it can feed and protect your plants.

Make compost at home or buy it in bags or bulk.

Leaves, chopped stalks, flowers, and grass all make great compost in a pile or bin – just add water, keep it moist, and wait six months.  Vegetable kitchen scraps also make good compost, but should be composted in a worm bin or other rodent-resistant container to prevent pest problems.