Are we following the hydro-illogical cycle in The Woodlands?

The hydro-illogical cycle goes like this: “We had a severe drought, but it’s over and we’re getting plenty of rain. Because of that, we don’t have to worry about water conservation anymore.”

The term was coined by Texas State Meteorologist John Nielsen-Gammon, who also asks the question: “Will the recent rains lead to apathy and disregard for the need to prepare for the next drought?”

Drought or no drought, the need to conserve water is a paramount issue, even in our community. Underground aquifers that residents once relied on can no longer sustain our growing population. Surface water supplies, although ample now, are subject to the vicissitudes of the weather.

The largest user of water in The Woodlands is lawn irrigation. Overwatering lawns is also the largest waster of water. Water that runs into the street from irrigation sprinklers is an indication of overwatering. Standing water in the lawn is another. A third indication is the advance of fungal infections – an expensive problem in its own right.

How much water does a lawn need?

During peak summer months (July, August and September), lawns typically need less than an inch of water a week. Based on the water pressure in The Woodlands, that is generally no more than 10 minutes per zone. However, during months when there is sufficient rain, much less, if any, watering is needed. Warm season grasses like St. Augustine, Bermuda and Zoysia are dormant in the winter and need no irrigation during cooler months. In fact, irrigation during these months encourages unwanted insects and fungal diseases.

Defined irrigation schedule

New residents of The Woodlands may not be aware that lawn irrigation from an in-ground sprinkler system is only allowed two days a week. Hand-held hoses, sprinkler hoses, hand watering and drip irrigation watering are not affected by the restriction.

Odd-numbered addresses may irrigate from 8 p.m. Tuesday to 6 a.m. the following morning and from 8 p.m. Fridays to 6 a.m. the following morning.

Even-numbered addresses may irrigate from 8 p.m. Wednesday to 6 a.m. the following morning and from 8 p.m. Saturday to 6 a.m. the following morning. Irrigating newly-sodded lawns or landscape renovation require a variance from the MUD.

There may be surcharges incurred for not following the schedule. Although a warning is given for a first infringement, subsequent infringements may incur surcharges from $50 to $200.