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Ashland Drought Plans

droughtASHLAND, Ore.– In anticipation of drought conditions, the City of Ashland is taking action now to reduce water use over the next several months. They City and the Parks Department, “will not plant trees, shrubs or annuals starting now through the summer season,” said City Administrator Dave Kanner.

“Other than a few shrubs and trees that have been “heeled in” and must be planted, we are committed to postponing all planting until we are past the anticipated drought,” said Don Robertson, director of parks and recreation.  “Due to shallow roots, annuals and even vegetable gardens use as much water as grass.”

In addition, the City and Parks Department will delay the start of irrigation on city-owned property as long as possible.  This helps to train lawns, shrubs and trees to need less water.  Once the irrigation system is turned on, watering will be much less frequent than in non-drought years.

Ashland’s municipal code gives the City the ability to require water use curtailment of residents and businesses if water supplies get too low.  Ashland last experienced water curtailment in 2009.  In May of that year, the snowpack measured 41 inches and the city supplemented the water supply with Talent Irrigation District (TID) water in August.  This year the snowpack measured 20 inches in March and the City expects to begin using TID water in May.

The Ashland community uses approximately 1.5 million gallons of water each day for basic indoor domestic use.  Once the community begins irrigating landscaping and continues to irrigate through the hot summer months, the community uses as much as 7 million gallons of water a day.