Valley Drought 2014: Lawn Or Food? Why You Don't Have To Choose - KMPH FOX 26 | Central San Joaquin Valley News Source

Valley Drought 2014: Lawn Or Food? Why You Don't Have To Choose

Valley Drought 2014: Lawn Or Food? Why You Don't Have To Choose

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VISALIA, Calif. (KMPH) - Water, every drop for people in the Valley is like liquid gold.

Right now people across Visalia are learning to be more conscious of their water use.

As of last Thursday, the city put into motion a water conservation plan but the restrictions don't have to come in the way of beautiful landscaping.

But how do you keep your garden green with so little water to go around?

"I mean do you want lettuce or do you want lawn?" said Melanie Mackenzie, a landscape designer.

While the drought is a big problem for everyone, the solution at home doesn't have to be.

Gardening and watering during a drought, according to Mackenzie, just needs to be done smarter.

The first tip is to pick flowers, plants and trees that are more drought tolerant.

"This particular one is called agora, this is lavender, it's not blooming yet but you can see it gets a lot of different color and texture, this is a verbena," said Mackenzie as she described the colorful flowers around her.

She insists that you don't have to give up on beauty to be water-conscious.

It's about picking the kind of plant that requires deep-watering, less frequently.

Checking the condition of your soil is also a big factor.

"Whether you have soil that percolates water quickly or you have clay soil where it gets stuck or a hard pan where it won't percolate at all. You need to address all of those," said Mackenzie.

Using the right tool, like a "watering wand," can help save you gallons of wasted water.

They allow you to only release water when and where you need it.

The best part, the wand helps you cut back on water run-off.

People at "Luis's nursery in Visalia can help with many useful tips to avoid wasting water and getting a citation.

As of April 17, 2014, the city's water ordinance has gone into motion.  

• Watering is permitted one day a week in March, April, November and December. For even addresses it’s on Sunday. For odd addresses it’s on Saturday.

• It’s allowed two days a week in May and October. For even addresses it’s on Wednesday and Sunday. For odd addresses it’s on Tuesday and Saturday.

• Three days a week in June, July, August and September. For even addresses it’s on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. For odd addresses it’s on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

• Watering is limited to 30 minutes per day. It can be done all at once or be divided.
• Water after 8 p.m. and/or before 10 a.m. on your watering days.


• Watch your watering because excessive runoff is prohibited.

• Washing your car is allowed on your watering day with a bucket, sponge and a hose with a shut-off nozzle.

• No hosing down driveways, porches, etc. Use a broom or rake instead.

"It's not a band aid; it's something we need to think about how we apply water. This is a real learning curve for people, because we've always had it available to us," said Mackenzie.

Code enforcement officers with the Visalia police department, building inspectors and other city officials will issue warnings and citations for non-compliance.

In some cases, there will be a written warning before a citation is issued.

For a first offense, the citation is a $100 fine.

For a second offense, the citation is a $200.

Subsequent citations each carry $500 fines.

According to the city of Visalia, there are some exceptions to the watering ordinance and schedule.

You can find out those details by clicking on www.gogreenvisalia.com

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