Warm Season Grasses & Water Savings
Karen Purvis, Pat Parke, Dirk Durant, Dave Criswell,
To educate the citizens of Hays about water conservation and turf grass selection. The strategy is to assess the turf grasses used in residential lawns in Hays, KS, determining how many are in grasses that need little irrigation (buffalo grass) and how many are in more water-intensive (cool season) grasses. That local information can be related to water use and the development of educational materials promoting the local use of buffalo grass for lawns.
The team surveyed lawns in Hays and determined that a little more than half were in water-intensive grasses. They calculated the water use by the cool season lawns. It was found that cool season grasses in Hays are consuming the water needs of 4,000 additional residents; in other words, converting bluegrass and fescue lawns to buffalo grass would conserve significant water. The team wrote and submitted two educational articles about this method of water conservation. The articles were published in the Hays City public works newsletter.