El Paso Water Restrictions And Keeping A Green Lawn
March 16, 2023
6 min read
When it comes to lawncare, the number one word on everyone’s lips is water. You need water to have a green lawn. You need to have moist fertilizer to keep most grass seeds well-nourished. However, living in a place like El Paso can put a damper on your lawn dreams.
El Paso has been currently dealing with water restrictions—and by currently, we mean that water restrictions have been in place since 1991. If you want to live in this city, you are going to need to be aware of El Paso water restrictions and what this means for your lawn cultivation.
Before you assume that a lawn is out of the question, you need to learn about the current regulations.
What are the current El Paso water restrictions?
El Paso currently has two main water restrictions dealing with when you can water your lawn and the type of irrigation you can use. They are organized by drought stages ranging from 1 through 4 depending on severity.
El Paso currently stands at a stage 2 water restriction schedule. Here’s the scoop on the current Stage 2 drought:
- Houses can water on alternating days. Odd-numbered home addresses can water on Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday. Even-numbered homes can water on Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. Mondays are skipped.
- You can only water before 10 AM or after 6 PM. This is true for most watering days.
- Schools and commercial properties can water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays. This also includes golf courses, farms, and cemeteries.
- You can only use drip irrigation or micro-irrigation setups. This reduces how much water can be used.
- Water flowing into the street is prohibited. Do not do this. Reroute the water into your garden if at all possible.
At Stage 1, almost no restrictions are enacted. At Stage 4 (which has only happened once in El Paso’s history), all outdoor watering is banned.
Who put the El Paso water restrictions in place?
The El Paso City Municpal Board adopted Conservation Ordinance. Any issues with it need to be addressed via the Conservation Ordinancy service. They do occasionally modify rules, so if you need a permit or modification, you can reach out via their website.
Why does El Paso have water restrictions?
El Paso is a beautiful part of Texas, but it’s always had an issue with drought. As the city expanded in both size and population, the need for water has grown immensely. There simply isn’t enough water to go around for everyone.
These water restrictions are meant to help reserve water for the entire population and ensure that the supply of water doesn’t run out.
How much are the penalties for breaking the rules of El Paso water restrictions?
This varies depending on the rule that you break as well as the number of times that you’ve broken that rule. In general, you should expect to pay $50 to $500 per offense. It’s a Class C Misdemeanor in El Paso. If you’re a business that breaks the rules, it’s a $1000 fine.
After several major attempts, you may also end up with your water shut off by municipal groups. This is not something you want to experience in a place as dry as El Paso!
How do you keep your lawn green during El Paso water restrictions?
Unfortunately, El Paso water restrictions are not going to go away anytime soon. If you want to have a green lawn, you need to employ strategy. These tips can help:
- Remember that you can water your lawn three days a week and use the proper irrigation systems. For certain types of lawns, this can be enough to make it work.
- Look for the best lawn seeds for drought resistance. Not all grass is considered equal. Grasses that have a high tolerance for drought can still thrive with the water restrictions in place. Choosing the right grass is vital to keeping a green lawn in El Paso.
- Consider doing rainwater harvesting as part of your water technique. Having a rainwater harvesting system as part of your irrigation system can reduce the amount of water you need to add to your lawn via municipal water sources. It also won’t count towards your watering schedule since you’re not using municipal water.
- Make sure to keep your irrigation system up to date. You want to make sure that your system isn’t broken. Maintenance will help ensure that you don’t use excess water and that you won’t end up losing water in parts of your backyard.
- Automate your sprinklers. If you have a smart home, it may be time to look into water automation.
- Your best bet is to plant native plants and work towards a grass-free garden. El Paso was historically a desert area. You might as well work with nature and choose plant life that evolved to withstand days or even weeks without water.
- Consider using astroturf. Artificial lawns are a potential option for people who are struggling to keep grass green during times of drought. A typical “faux lawn” will last for approximately 10 to 15 years and may cost more than a regular lawn. However, it will give you the lush greenery you’d hope to see.
- Keep an eye on El Paso’s current drought state. While it should go without saying, El Paso’s water levels can and do change. For the most part, residents should aim to stick to a Stage 2 water conservation order. However, there may be wet years where water becomes more plentiful. When in doubt, check with El Paso’s municipal board to find out what rules apply to you.
Don’t let El Paso water restrictions make you drop your dreams of a good lawn.
El Paso may be noted for being strict with water flow, but that doesn’t mean that you are bereft of a lawn. It’s a matter of strategy, keeping tabs on what the local laws are, and being a little more creative with the way you water.