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Water Conservation – Landscape And Drought Milan J. Michalec Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District 09 August 2010 Xeriscape In The Hill Country Does Not Mean Zero Color Hill Country Xeriscape Does Mean Respect The Local Conditions

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Water Conservation – Landscape And Drought

Milan J. Michalec

Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District

09 August 2010


Xeriscape in the hill country does not mean zero color l.jpg
Xeriscape In The Hill Country Does Not Mean Zero Color


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Hill Country Xeriscape Does Mean

  • Respect The Local Conditions

    • Balance The Landscape - 30% Turf/30% Hardscape/30% Plants

    • Plan For Drought

    • Consider Competition From Deer

  • Turf

    • Native Grass Such As Buffalo

  • Hardscape

    • Native Stone and Timber

  • Plants

    • Natives and Adaptive Species

  • Key: Go Native




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Drought In Texas

  • Hill Country

    • Long Periods of Drought Interrupted By Short Periods of Floods

  • Drought of Record

    • 1950-1957 (1954 Recorded 10. 29” Of Rain In Boerne)

    • Tree Ring Studies Indicate Far Longer And Drier Periods

  • Groundwater Pumping Can Only Be Managed By Local Groundwater Conservation Districts

    • Drought Contingency Plans Can Cut Pumping up to 50% for wells with operating permits

    • Wells used for Domestic and Livestock use are “exempt” from the operating permit process

  • Kendall County-Cow Creek Groundwater Conservation District


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Keep Plants Alive In Stage Five

  • Water Conservation Strategies

    • Condensate Recovery

    • Reuse Grey Water

    • Rainwater Capture

  • Take Inventory

    • Not All Plants Require Supplemental Water

  • Use Stored Water Sparingly

    • Apply Two Quarts Per Plant Every Third Day



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Condensate Recovery System

Save Water Produced By Air Conditioner





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Reuse Grey Water

  • What Is Grey Water?

    • Any Water Used In The Home, Except Water From Toilets, Is Called Grey Water

      • Dish, Shower, Sink, And Laundry Water Comprise 50-80% Of Residential “Waste" Water

      • May Be Reused For Other Purposes, Especially Landscape Irrigation


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Typical Daily RecoveryDishes: 5 GallonsBathing: 3-5 Gallons Per Person


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Water Storage Remove Screw - On Top Remove Water With Bucket


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Rainwater Collection

  • 1” Rain On 1,000 Sq Ft Roof Can Yield 600 Gallons Of Water For Capture

  • Boerne Area Average Annual Rainfall

    • 33.74 (1893-2008)

  • Highest Annual Rainfall

    • 64.17 (1992)

  • Lowest Annual Rainfall

    • 10.29 (1954)




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Basic/Improved Collection

  • Shortfalls

    • Inefficient Capture

    • Insufficient Storage

    • Evaporation

    • Mosquitoes

  • Better Way?

    • Increase Capture and Storage

    • Seal Water From Elements







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Sunlight Does Get Inside TankProblem: Algae Growth Solution: Paint Exterior




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