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Water Conservation Doesn't Have to Mean a Brown Lawn

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RALEIGH — The hot, dry conditions that currently prevail in the Triangle provide the perfect ingredients to ruin a lawn. But the beginning of summer doesn't have to mean the end of your lawn, even if your town requires you to conserve water.

It's never to early to start thinking about conserving water. Monday was the first full day of summer, and experts say they expect it to get hotter and drier as the season progresses. There are, however, some simple steps that can be taken to prevent a water shortage.

"It's just that there are steps that can be taken that may take a little getting used... to it may not even really change your lifestyle at all," says Kristi Greene, a block leader in a neighborhood program set up by Cary town leaders.

The system can be done anywhere.

"A lot of people don't understand how to water efficiently and we've trained our block leaders to go out and meet their neighbors and teach them about efficient water use," said Jennifer Platt, a water conservation specialist.

One tip is to determine for sure if your lawn even needs water. Homeowners can do that by walking across the grass. Platt says if footprints remain, it's time to bring out the sprinkler.

"The footprints they barely show up so I think it's probably a really good gauge -- a quick and easy gauge -- of when you need to water your lawn."

When you do use a sprinkler don't use the kind that sends water high up into the air where it can evaporate. Use one that shoots water out close to the ground. Greene says the key to water conservation is really just common sense.

"We can't just be takers. We can't just use as much as we want. We have to be conscientious."

Here's another idea for cutting down on excessive watering. When you turn the sprinkler on, set a small can, like a tuna can, on the lawn. It holds about an inch of water so when it fills up you know you're done.

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Lynda Loveland, Reporter
Joe Frieda, Photographer
MJ Ainsley, Web Editor

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