Water Conservation Comment

Submitted by Joe Bower – Sierra Canyon (Del Webb Reno) Owner

Glad to read the latest email from Somersett titled “Somerset Water Conservation” and sub-titled “Ways the Association is Planning for and Conserving Water in Our Community.”

All efforts of Somersett’s should be praised. I especially like the “water meter spreadsheet” something I have long advocated.  I assume it will be in gallons and not dollars as one association was doing in past years.  Haven’t heard what efforts are being undertaken by the three sub-associations: The Vue, The Villages, and Sierra Canyon.

It is sad to learn of “water usage reductions well in excess of 20%.” That percentage could easily have been achieved before the crises hit as excess watering and long-time to correct irrigation leaks were common knowledge.

TMWA seems the be the “guy” everyone is looking up to, but the best method for any association is to slowly, but surely, convert its grassy common areas to xeriscape using drip irrigation instead of overhead spray. Time to include this in the 2016 budgets now being prepared.

Somersett also needs to change its landscaping rule to allow for decorative rock or decorative rock with some bushes in private owner mow-strips in addition to the now only allowed choices of turf or juniper.

All association boards have the fiduciary duty to enforce the rules of the association. The Somersett rule effective June 1, 2015 for privately owned mow-strips clearly states that: if the front yard is xeriscaped, approved junipers may be planted in the mow strip area. (emphasis added)

This means that if the front yard is NOT xeriscaped, approved junipers may NOT be planted in the mow strip area.

Developers/Builders, as well as owners, are mass violators by planting juniper where front yards are grass. Fines can go towards common area grass to xeriscape conversion costs.  It doesn’t matter if there is a drought or not. We moved into and live in an association and a rule is a rule and this one needs to be followed; or changed using common sense and adding member desired options. Decorative rock = no water. Of course mow-strip trees need to remain, but they are already on drip.

2 thoughts on “Water Conservation Comment

  1. Thank you, Joe, for submitting this article on a very serious matter. Both my front (had grass replaced) and backyards have xeriscape except for my mow strip. Junipers are garbage collectors, ignitible in a fire, and are not pretty. It takes precious water to keep grass green. It only makes sense that our mow strips be allowed to have decorative rock with choice of small green plants.  I agree that Somersett and Sierra Canyon should start slowly to convert some of our grassy common areas to xeriscape. Will future generations understand that they have little precious water, because we were selfish and wanted green lawns?

    Fran MacDonald

  2. Since we live in an arid place, a little oasis of green lawns and green spaces is a delight. At this point, I do NOT agree with your rather intense desire to react to our drought by converting grass to xeriscape. Sure, California has a rather severe drought, but, Tahoe does not and neither do we.

    And,it doesn’t appear that the Truckee Meadow Water Assoc. agrees that we have as serious a water problem as you suggest, Joe.

    Aug 14, 2015, the RGJ writes:
    Mike Kazmierski, CEO of the Economic Development Authority of Western Nevada, thinks Reno is well-situated waterwise.

    “Despite the magnitude of this drought, we have water to meet all of our needs,” he said.

    “And while we may draw down our reserves this year, the first time in 20 years, by as much as 20 percent in the next few months, the system will refill over the winter and we will likely be back to 100 percent for the start of next year. This is not the case for nearly all the other reservoirs in the West.”

    It continues: ” The TMWA currently uses 74,000 acre feet a year meet demands of its customers, and projects 97,000 acre feet around 2030. Our water supply can sustain demands up to 110,000 acre feet.”

    Question: How much water can we tap into in our aquifer by sinking wells when we need to?
    Let’s be prudent, but. let’s not over-react.

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