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 July: 0.00 inches

This July so far: 0.00 inches

Chinook salmon and steelhead return numbers

Fish numbers in the Walla Walla River counted at Nursery Street Bridge in Milton Freewater, as of June 27, 2019, are Spring Chinook, 113, and Steelhead, 215.

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: 14.89 million gallons per day.

Last week’s average water use: 14.21 million gallons per day.  

First week of July 2018 average water use: 16.78 million gallons per day.

Water use guidelines

For the week of June 27 — July 3, precipitation was 0.00 inches and turf grass in the area used 1.45 inches of moisture, according to WSU AgWeathernet data. Home irrigators should have run spray type sprinklers 4 times for 15 minutes and rotor type sprinklers 4 times for 55 minutes this week. Calculations are based on average precipitation rates, please adjust for local conditions.

Yard care and water

savings tips

Grow fewer thirsty plants — Ones to look for include smaller plants, plants with narrow leaves, plants with gray or silver leaves (this reflects radiation, reducing evaporation) and plants with leathery or curled leaves. All of these types of plant are able to tolerate higher temperatures and lose water less quickly. One trap to avoid is mistaking “drought-tolerant” plants for plants with low water requirements. Many drought-tolerant plants have evolved to suck up as much water as possible when it is available to help survive the times when water is scarce. This means that, far from consuming less water, they will actually drink up everything you give them.

Use a moisture meter — If the idea of digging into the soil seems too imprecise, you can buy a moisture meter. You simply push the meter into the ground and it gives you a reading. Up to 30 percent means the ground is dry and needs watering and 30 to 70 percent means it is fine and doesn’t need watering.

Recommended for you