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Water wiser this summer   

  by  Catherine Moravec  on  5/6/2020

​May is the perfect month to nail down your summer watering strategy and program your sprinkler system to deliver the right amount of water to your plants. By watering wisely, your lawn and landscape will thrive.

Using water wisely means using it for important needs and activities that bring value to our lives. We live in a semi-arid environment where water is a limited resource. City Council approved water-wise rules to support the smart use of water in our community and ensure a reliable water supply for the future.

Here are three steps to water your lawn and landscape wisely this summer:

Step one: water the right number of days per week.
Lawns need less water when it’s cool and more when it’s hot. Take advantage of this by watering twice per week in May. As the weather warms in summer, water three times per week. Implementing our water-wise watering schedule will maximize your savings and your lawn’s health.

Now that the water-wise rules are in effect, you can water on the days of your choice. There are no assigned watering days. Also, if it rains you can pause your sprinkler schedule without having to skip a watering day.

Watering up to three days per week in summer can keep most lawns healthy and beautiful. However, it’s important to follow smart mowing, aerating and fertilizing practices.

If watering three days per week consistently presents challenges, consider applying for an allocation plan. This type of plan isn’t for everyone but may provide a solution for sites with extremely sandy soils, smart controllers or very large irrigation systems.

Step two: run your sprinklers for the right amount of time.
Your sprinkler types should determine how long you should run each zone. As shown in the water-wise lawn watering schedule, some sprinklers apply water more quickly than others. Run fixed spray sprinklers for about 20 minutes each watering day. Schedule rotor zones for 45 minutes and multi-stream nozzle zones for 60 minutes. Watering longer doesn’t benefit your grass; it drains past your lawn’s roots.
Use these recommendations as a starting point. Adjust up or down as needed based on your lawn’s condition. If you see water running into the gutter before the watering time is finished, try a cycle and soak schedule. This video or fact sheet will help you learn more.

Step three: schedule your sprinklers for the right time of day.
From May 1 to October 15, run your sprinklers before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. when less water is lost to evaporation.

What if you are installing a new lawn or landscape plants that you’ll water with sprinklers? In that case, apply for an establishment permit. This permit allows you to water more than three days per week and water during the day.

Finally, join us for our new online landscape classes in May. They’re free and we’ll be covering topics such as the best water-wise plants and grass types, landscape design, vegetable gardening, and low-maintenance landscape projects.
Watering wisely will allow current and future residents of Colorado Springs to enjoy a beautiful landscape, too. Thanks for doing your part to water wisely this summer.

Add a comment


It would be nice to see a watering schedule and amount for various vegetation types, especially if using a drip system since the emitters come in various flow rates

Friday, May 08, 2020  2:58 PM  Leatherrestore

What are the start and end days within a week? Sunday to Saturday or Monday to Sunday?

Tuesday, May 12, 2020  2:43 PM  LXL

Parks around us look terrible!!! Park between Madison and LaSalle is almost dead. Bon park just as bad. Called but all that was done was dig around the heads. Why are the Fire Stations not watering? All the snow we had should have plenty of water. Bet the Broadmoor is looking green!!!

Tuesday, May 12, 2020  5:40 PM  Markthomson

The vote to limit our watering happened in December when we were not notified that this was up for vote so if you don't think citizens aren't angry at CSU ...they are. We are not in a drought and had a super snow season so why restrict us? If you want to teach us about watering why wasn't this rolled out over several years instead of immediate shutoff. The CSU owns their credibility and you own losing it with the public. If you want people to accept change make them a part of it and not shove it down their throats. Now with Covid gardening and taking care of our lawns is the focus and we have big government down our backs worried about how much water we use when we don't have a water crisis. WTH

Tuesday, May 12, 2020  8:00 PM  Shills

I am handicapped and elderly, and I do not have a sprinkler system. Did anyone think of what a hardship it is on us to water those hours?

Wednesday, May 13, 2020  2:15 PM  ernie

We have multiple zones for our sprinklers - we only water zones 1&2 three days a week (M-W-F) and zones 3&4 on a different 3 days (Tues-Thurs-Sat). So effectively only watering each zone 3 days a week - is this ok?

Thursday, May 14, 2020  12:08 PM  Kathy

We do not have a lawn which we water ever. We do have three year old or newer trees requiring watering every two-three days. We have a flower garden which also requires weekly watering. How does the guidelines apply to us under these circumstances--no lawn to water only young trees and a flower bed?

Friday, May 15, 2020  1:03 PM  RICHARD MILLER

Thanks for the information you provided (and continue to provide) on how to conserve our water resources while allowing for work on lawn and gardens to continue with flexibility built into the process.
With the increasing demands on resources due to our growing city, understand meeting everyone's requests is simply not possible - appreciate having the multiple avenues to voice concerns and get information.

Monday, May 18, 2020  8:03 AM 

Leatherrestore - You can find the general water requirements for specific plants at

LXL – the start and end days within a week are Sunday to Saturday

Shills - The new watering rules are an important part of our future water supply planning. The Integrated Water Resource Plan, approved by the Utilities Board in 2017, includes water efficiency as a source of future supply. The Ordinance changes are expected to meet 10 percent of the efficiency goal.

While we currently have nearly three years of customer demand in our storage reservoirs, it’s important to remember that up to 70% of our supply comes from the Colorado River Basin. This basin is a complex system of rivers, streams and reservoirs that serves over 40 million people in seven states. Unfortunately, it has been in drought conditions for 20 years.

We support using water wisely across our region, state and community. Implementing the new water-wise rules is one way we can responsibly and efficiently use water for the benefit of our community, neighbors and our rivers.

Ernie - If you are watering with a sprinkler attached to a hose, one option is to use a battery-operated controller that you can schedule to water for you. If this is not an option, you may apply for a water allocation plan at

Kathy - The water-wise rules specify that sprinklers may be run up to three days per week. You may wish to try scheduling your system to run all sprinkler zones on three days of your choice. If you prefer to use your existing sprinkler schedule you may apply for a water allocation plan that provides schedule flexibility.

Richard Miller - Watering is allowed any time with a drip irrigation system, handheld hose with a shutoff nozzle or other handheld watering container. If you use a hose-end sprinkler to water your trees and shrubs, you may use it up to three days per week before 10 a.m. and after 6 p.m.

Friday, May 22, 2020  12:03 PM  Colorado Springs Utilities

So why are the sprinklers at Fairview Cemetery during the day with water running down 26th street?

Tuesday, July 07, 2020  8:42 PM  Mike Theisen