Waterwise Wednesday: Tree Watering

Trees, like people, appreciate water during hot spells.

Poke a tool like a long screw driver into the soil near the tree. If the ground is rock solid, it’s time to water. If it’s wet or muddy hold off.

Many of a tree’s roots rest between 12-24 inches below the surface – so a long slow sprinkle of 1 to 2 inches of water should help reach these roots (unless it’s competing with lawn turf). Move the hose around the root zone, which reaches about 1.5 times the height of the tree, to cover the entire root system when watering.

Photo: South Broadway Plaza May 2019 by L. Sato

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Harvesting

Capture and reuse rain runoff to supplement regular watering and reduce demand on the public water system with these ideas.

1. Gently mound dirt along a plant’s dripline to hold and infiltrate runoff.

2. Re-use household wastewater from dehumidifiers or air conditioning condensers for irrigation.

3. Install a rain barrel or cistern. Rain barrels can store the water until the weather turns dry and is needed.

4. Plant a rain garden – the basin will hold runoff while providing the yard with color and pollinator habitat.

Photo via gilintx via Flickr CC

Waterwise Wednesday: Persistent Perchlorate


Photo © Laura Arredondo

Enjoy the Fourth of July fireworks. And please take time to carefully sweep firework launch and debris landing areas and properly dispose of the debris afterwards.

Perchlorate, a compound used as an oxidizing agent in fireworks (i.e., fuel to make the firework burn), persists in soil and water.

How persistent? Well, Mt. Rushmore National Memorial’s firework shows stopped in 2009. In a 2016 US Geological Survey high levels of perchlorate were still reported in the park – 38 micrograms in a groundwater sample and 54 micrograms/liter in a stream, both in excess of the EPA’s 15 micrograms per liter, and 274 times higher than samples taken outside the memorial park’s borders.

Waterwise Wednesday: Timing is Everything

Photo@Publicdomainphotos

Summer has officially arrived. And water use triples in Scottsbluff primarily due to lawn and landscape watering. Timing your watering can save you money and the city water supply.

1. Know how much water your landscape actually needs before you set your sprinkler. Automatic sprinkler systems can waste up to 50% more water than manual when timers are set and left instead of adjusted for current moisture and temperature.

2. Water in the early morning or after the sun goes down in the evening when its cooler and calmer. Its estimated that 50 percent of sprinkler water goes to waste from evaporation, wind, or runoff.

3. Install a smart controller that uses weather data to determine when and how much to water.

Photo © Publicdomainphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: Water Safety Tips

Swimmers are bobbing at the pools and lakes. Remember a few tips to stay safe and enjoy the water all summer.

– Always swim with a buddy. Don’t assume that lifeguards can see everything, they’re watching several people at once. Children should always be under active supervision.

– Explore cautiously and make sure you’re comfortable with the body of water you’re swimming in. Rivers and lakes can have undertows. Never dive into an unfamiliar area.

– Remember, more strength is needed to swim in a current. 
If you get caught in a current, don’t panic or try to fight it. Float with it, or swim parallel to the shore.

Photo © Gbphotostock

Walter Walleye Meets Hiram the Pioneer

Hiram from the Western Nebraska Pioneers Baseball and Nebraska H2O’s Walter Walleye

Lied Scottsbluff Public Library hosted a SUN-SATIONAL STAR-STUDDED MORNING on Tuesday, June 11th for A Universe of Stories-Children’s Summer Reading Program. Participants enjoyed a skit by Western Nebraska Community College Theater and variety of activity booths.

Nebraska H2O’s Walter Walleye and Western Nebraska Pioneer Baseball ‘s Hiram mingled with the kids and families.

Butterflies and Bees Thank the TAC!

Thank you to Lied Scottsbluff Public Library’s Teen Advisory Council (TAC) for planting a Bloom Box in celebration of Nebraska Wildflower Week last Friday.

The Bloom Box contained 24 hand-picked native and pollinator friendly plants from the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum and the TAC planted them according to the design template included with the box. A mini Greener Nebraska Towns grant provided additional plants for the plaza.

Thank you, TAC!

Teen Advisory Council Members from the Lied Scottsbluff Public Library work with Rachel Anderson of the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum to plant a Bloom Box in the Broadway Plaza.

Waterwise Wednesday: Rain Here and There

Only two planets are known to get liquid rain at the surface, Earth and Titan (one of Saturn’s moons). Earth’s rain is water, Titan’s is liquid methane.

The rain on the rest of the planets discovered so far evaporates before reaching the planet’s surface. Which may be a good thing since the “rain” is actually solid rock (COROT 7b), diamonds (Neptune, Saturn, and Jupiter), or Sulfuric Acid (Venus). Makes a walk in the rain on earth rather enjoyable, don’t you think?

Photo © creativecommonsstockphotos

Waterwise Wednesday: What’s Your Water Footprint?

It’s easy to think of our household when we think about water use – dishes, bathing, cooking, laundry, drinking. Our water footprint also includes the water used in the production of power, clothing, food, and manufacturing of the products we use. How much water do you really use? Check it out with the water calculator below.

https://www.watercalculator.org/

Waterwise Wednesday: National Learn About Composting Day

Photo © Richard Griffin

Yes, it’s an officially recognized day.

Compost can be made from kitchen scraps, lawn clippings, newspapers, leaves wood chips, coffee grinds and even meat or fish products (when done properly) – just not processed foods.

Nutrient rich compost is a natural fertilizer that boosts soil health, prevents runoff and groundwater from chemical toxins, and insect friendly which means more pollinators and beneficial insects boosting the health of your yard and garden plants.

For more information :

EPA Home Composting: https://www.epa.gov/recycle/composting-home#basics

UNL Extension Vermiculture: https://lancaster.unl.edu/pest/resources/vermicompost107.shtml