Waterwise Wednesday: National Rivers Month

North Platte River at Scottsbluff July 2019 by L. Sato

We celebrate U.S. rivers and their benefits throughout June.
– Like the Missouri River, the country’s longest at 2,500 miles
– the Mississippi River, the widest, 11 miles across at one point in Minnesota.
– and Nebraska’s 79,056 miles of river

One out of every three people gets their drinking water from a river or stream in the United States. And nationally we spend about $97 billion annually on river-related recreation and tourism.

Drinking water and recreation are two reasons to protect water quality by picking up after your pet, using fertilizers sparingly, and properly disposing of trash.

Waterwise Wednesday: LID Management

Lied Scottsbluff Public Library Bioswale, Scottsbluff, Nebraska September 2015
Photo by L. Sato

Low impact development (LID) or green infrastructure encourages rain to infiltrate where it falls, reducing opportunities for runoff to collect pollutants and reach nearby waters. LID tends to be more attractive, increase property values and provide more environmental benefits than traditional stormwater management methods.


The Lied Scottsbluff Library Bioswale routes roof runoff through the bioswale. The green space reduces runoff to the storm sewer, provides natural water treatment for runoff that overflows to the storm sewer, and creates an oasis for insects and pollinators (and the birds that feed on them).

Waterwise Wednesday: Lawn Watering

Photo © Dreamstime.com

Warmer weather brings on lawn watering. Follow these tips for efficient and effective watering.

1. Water early in the morning, before 10 AM to avoid wind and evaporation from higher temperatures.

2. In ground sprinkler systems are most effective. Pulsating or tractor sprinklers are recommended for manual watering – the heavier drops drift less.

3. Soak 6 inches of soil or do the screwdriver test to determine soil moisture. Push a long-blade screwdriver straight down into the lawn. There’s adequate moisture if the blade penetrates the soil easily depth of 6 inches. If it doesn’t water a bit more.

4. Water twice a week max so the grass develops a deep healthy root system.

5. Or let it go dormant. Grass goes dormant in hot weather, just like it does in the cold of winter. Periodic watering will keep the soil moist and protect roots without killing grass, just like a spring shower or winter snow.