UTAH DROUGHT

Don’t turn on the sprinklers just yet, expert says

Apr 15, 2024, 1:00 PM

Sprinkler goes off, wondering when to turn on sprinklers?...

Water shoots out of a sprinkler in Herriman on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. (Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — While it’s starting to feel more and more like spring, experts are asking Utahns to keep their sprinklers off for a little bit longer.

Taun Beddes, Utah State University Extension horticulturist and co-host of the KSL Greenhouse Show said people along the Wasatch Front should not consider turning on the sprinklers until at least May 1.

“It’s just absolutely not needed,” Beddes said. “With the cool weather, there’s still plenty of soil moisture.”

Beddes said watering the lawn too early can waste a ton of the water Mother Nature just replenished.

Following years of drought, Utah’s reservoirs are now, on average, over 84% full.

Only one small chunk of far eastern Utah is in moderate drought now. Other than that, Utah’s soil moisture is in great shape.

Beddes said lawn irrigation can take up as much water as agriculture, and agriculture uses far and away more water than anything else in both the Great Salt Lake Basin and along the Colorado River.

“Conservation is going to be the way forward,” Beddes said.

Along with lost water, Beddes said turning on the sprinklers too early can also hurt a lawn in the long-run. Too much water sucks oxygen out of the soil, affecting how far the grass’s roots can grow. Beddes said all that extra water and humidity can make a lawn more susceptible to pests and diseases.

“Where I see the most disease and insect pest problems are in lawns that are overwatered [and] mowed too short,” Beddes said.

Now that you know when to turn on sprinklers, what’s next?

After May 1, Beddes said you can test whether your lawn needs to be watered by sticking a long screwdriver into it. If it goes down a ways without much resistance, your lawn doesn’t need water yet.

Some other tips include:

  • Only turn the sprinklers on if it hasn’t rained for five to seven days, or if we experience an abnormal heat wave.
  • When you do water your lawn, do it sometime between 4 a.m. and 9 a.m. to limit how much evaporates.

Beddes also encouraged people to look into water-wise landscaping or systems that can automatically turn the sprinklers on at the right times.

“Be cautious, be aware of our water situation and just try not to waste it,” Beddes said.

Related: Utah temperatures warming up, strong snowpack set to start melting

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Utah Drought

Multi-directional sprinkler system (canva)...

Mitchell von Puttkammer

Water conservation in your Utah garden

Water conservation in a Utah garden can include installing smart sprinkler systems. And the state can help defray the cost!

3 days ago

Southern arm of Great Salt Lake...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Great Salt Lake’s southern arm reaches ‘significant’ level as spring rise slows down

The southern arm of Great Salt Lake reached an optimal level this week however, experts believe the lake will recede this summer.

12 days ago

FILE: The Colorado River is pictured near Moab in Grand County on Friday, April, 26, 2024....

Adam Small

New study suggests climate change could help Colorado River

University of Colorado at Boulder researchers predict that climate change will increase precipitation in Upper Basin states like Utah.

17 days ago

great salt lake shown, lithium in the lake is attracting companies...

Adam Small

Great Salt Lake level reaches seven-year high

Great Salt Lake now sits at 4,195.1 feet above sea level, more than 6.5 feet higher than its all-time historic low in late 2022.

19 days ago

Deer Creek Reservoir in Wasatch County pictured....

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Average Utah reservoir level 30% higher than last year

The average reservoir in Utah is at 88% capacity or 30% higher than last year.

19 days ago

A man, who asked not to be named, walks with his umbrella under snow-covered trees at Liberty Park ...

Alexandrea Bonilla

Utah’s latest spring storm slows snowmelt, adds to snowpack

Some areas of Salt Lake County saw two inches of snow from this late spring storm in Utah.

21 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Don’t turn on the sprinklers just yet, expert says