WaterMyYard – A new app helps keep lawns healthy while saving money and water
- July 21, 2021
(Houston, TX – July 21, 2021) – Houston-area lawns need irrigation to keep them healthy in the summer, but overwatering contributes to water quality issues and water waste. Overall, lawn watering accounts for approximately 40 percent of residential water usage. Texas A&M Agrilife Extension specialists developed the WaterMyYard tool to promote water conservation and keep local residents’ lawns and wallets greener by providing recommendations on smart lawn irrigation.
Using local weather data, WaterMyYard determines the precise amount of supplemental water that is needed to maintain a healthy lawn and delivers recommendations of how long to operate irrigation systems to area residents for free via email, text message, or app notifications. Recommendations are based on the type of irrigation system used and an extensive network of weather stations and rain gauges across the state. Six evapotranspiration weather stations across the Houston-Galveston Area collect data to calculate plant watering requirements, and over 100 Harris County Flood Control District rain gauges provide recent rainfall data for every zip code in the area.
Many lawn problems are caused or compounded by overwatering or applying water at the wrong time, but WaterMyYard makes it easy to water the perfect amount, maximizing water conservation and keeping water bills low. Additionally, conserving water helps prevent subsidence, the sinking of land surface caused by groundwater withdrawal, and reduces harmful runoff that can impact water quality throughout the Galveston Bay watershed. By strengthening water conservation practices in the Houston Area, we can help support a healthy environment and reduce threats to Galveston Bay.
The program has provided irrigation recommendations for homeowners in North Texas since 2012 and since, has expanded to other areas of the state such as the greater Austin and Houston areas and cities in West Texas, including Lubbock and San Angelo. The WaterMyYard tool is available in the Greater Houston-Galveston Area thanks to a partnership with the Harris Galveston Subsidence District and the Galveston Bay Foundation, with funding from the United States Environmental Protection Agency.
Users can sign up online for these free customized watering tips at WaterMyYard.org or download the app from the App Store or Google Play. More information is available at WaterMyYard.org.
About Texas A&M Agrilife Extension Service
The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service is a unique education agency with a statewide network of professional educators, trained volunteers, and county offices. It reaches into every Texas county to address local priority needs. Some of its major efforts are mitigating drought impacts; conserving water use in homes, landscapes, and production agriculture; improving emergency management; enhancing food security; and protecting human health through education about diet, exercise, and disease prevention and management.
About Galveston Bay Foundation
Established in 1987, the Galveston Bay Foundation is a conservation non-profit organization. Its mission is to preserve and enhance Galveston Bay as a healthy and productive place for generations to come. It implements diverse programs in land preservation, habitat restoration, water quality and quantity, STEM education, and advocacy. To learn more, visit galvbay.org or follow @GBayFoundation on Twitter.
About Harris-Galveston Subsidence District
The Harris-Galveston Subsidence District exists to prevent subsidence, the sinking of land surface caused by groundwater withdrawal, in Harris and Galveston counties. The District protects the region from the ongoing impacts of subsidence by providing reasonable groundwater regulation based on the best available science. In addition to its Science and Research program, the District also leads multiple Water Conservation education projects, such as SmarterAboutWater.org, to bolster the region’s resiliency by helping existing water resources go further. Visit hgsubsidence.org for more information.
This project received financial support from the EPA under an Assistance Agreement.