A severe drought with no end in sight and the influx of winter residents is prompting Scottsdale to ask residents to conserve water.
Conservation is especially crucial in the fall, city officials said, because residents begin to overseed their grass.
"When winter visitors come, they want to see the green grass and lush landscape, but we live in (the) Sonoran Desert and at this point in time we need to recognize that," said Karen Warner, Scottsdale water conservation specialist.
The city is asking people not to overseed their grass this fall.
"It not only saves a lot of water, but will save them money and maintenance costs," Warner said.
To motivate residents to conserve water, the city offers rebates for those who convert grass lawns to desert landscaping and install electric watering timers and lowflow toilets.
"It has been very popular with owners of single-family homes," Warner said. "Now we are working on a way to attract commercial properties."
The city offers a $75 rebate for those who convert to low-flow toilets; up to $500 for converting lawns to natural desert landscaping and $50 for replacing old watering timers.
Scottsdale is actually better off than most Valley cities, Warner said, because the city gets most of its water from the Central Arizona Project, which has been less affected by the drought than Salt River Project water, which relies heavily on the drought-stricken reservoirs.
"It is crucial that we all conserve water in the Valley," she said. "In the past few years, growth throughout the region has been phenomenal and a lot more of our resources are being used."
Scottsdale is asking residents to:
• Check timers on automatic irrigation systems and decrease watering times as cooler weather sets in. For tips on setting your irrigation clock, call (480) 312-5690 to request the brochure "Landscape Watering by the Numbers."
• Consider skipping a winter lawn or reducing the size of your winter lawn. You may not need to water your lawn at all this winter if you do not plant winter grass.
• Convert portions of your lawn to low-water-use landscaping.
• Install low-flow plumbing fixtures if your house was built more than 10 years ago.
"Because temperatures are falling, people might not think about water conservation," city spokesman Pat Dodds said. "People usually think about conserving when it’s hot outside."
More about it
To learn more about water conservation, landscaping workshops and conservation rebates, call (480) 312-5650 or visit www.wateruseitwisely.com.