Unsure Whether Drought Conditions In Your Area Will Ever End? Is A Sprinkler System Worth It?

Posted on: 3 April 2017


If you live in one of the many parts of the U.S. currently experiencing droughts or unusually dry conditions, you may long for summers past, when maintaining a lush green lawn was as easy as mowing every week or two and watering between rain showers. If you find yourself struggling to maintain a balance between keeping your lawn attractive and abiding by local or state watering restrictions, you may assume you've missed the boat when it comes to installing a sprinkler system. However, in some cases, doing so could actually allow you to water your lawn more often. Read on to learn more about some of the factors you'll want to take into account when deciding to install a sprinkler system in a drought-prone area. 

Your area's current water restrictions

With drought conditions in some parts of the West and Southwest reaching historic proportions, other parts of the country have been proactive when it comes to reducing the amount of water each household is permitted to use. Your area may have restrictions on peak watering hours or even a maximum number of gallons to be used per household each day or week.

The extent of your area's current water restrictions (if any), as well as your most educated guess as to how these restrictions could change if the drought continues, can give you an idea of whether a sprinkler system will come in handy or become an expensive lawn ornament.

For example, if your current restrictions relate only to the number of times per week you can water your lawn, a sprinkler can actually help you by allowing you to set your watering to a specific schedule, ensuring you're never caught inadvertently violating water restrictions. If you're restricted to a maximum number of gallons, you may want to instead look at water-efficient sprinklers that can help you make the most of your lawn-watering allotment. 

Your daily and weekly schedule

One of the primary advantages to an in-ground sprinkler system is the ability to program your watering schedule. Even if your area's drought restrictions don't relate to peak hours and you're able to water your lawn at just about any time of day, watering early in the morning or late at night is usually deemed ideal; watering mid-day could potentially burn your plants and leave you much more likely to lose water to evaporation. If you have trouble dragging yourself out of bed in the mornings, a programmable sprinkler system could hold the answer. 

Your long-term housing plans

If you're planning to move within the next year or two, investing in an in-ground sprinkler system isn't likely to pay for itself before you've already moved on. However, if you and your family plan to stay in your current home for the foreseeable future, a sprinkler system can be a good investment, particularly if your area's utility rates increase as a result of the water shortage. By programming your sprinkler system to use only the amount of water you've approved, you'll be able to avoid inadvertent overages or oversights, like leaving the water hose running after you're finished.

There is one exception to this rule. If you're planning to sell your home soon and your house is the only one on the block without an in-ground sprinkler system, you may wish to install at least a basic model so that your home's sale price or marketability won't suffer. In neighborhoods where sprinkler systems are not the norm, the lack of one shouldn't have any monetary impact; but in areas where they're expected or commonplace, you may be dinged for not having one.

Check out the sites of local companies, if you do decide to install a sprinkler system.