weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Summer is almost here, Las Vegas. It’s time to reset your water clocks

Updated April 30, 2024 - 8:58 am

Las Vegas is advancing toward another blistering desert summer. For homeowners, that means one thing for your lawn — it’s time to reset your water clocks.

In the summer from May through August, hotter temperatures mean residents across the valley may water their lawns up to six days a week, with the exclusion of Sundays. Water from sprinklers, or “spray irrigation,” isn’t allowed between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m.

Because Nevada is the state that receives the least amount of rain in the nation and the Southwest is still in a drought, watering just enough becomes paramount.

The new season doesn’t mean you should immediately crank up your water use, though, said Corey Enus, a Southern Nevada Water Authority spokesman. Customers may want to start by increasing watering from three days to four and adjust as needed, he said.

“There isn’t necessarily a need to start right on May 1,” Enus said. “Let the weather help dictate and ramp up your use as it gets hotter and hotter.”

How to avoid extra fees

The consequences of overwatering can be costly in Southern Nevada.

For customers served by the Las Vegas Valley Water District, which includes the city of Las Vegas and areas of unincorporated Clark County, overuse could translate to what are known as excessive use fees.

Customers may only use 28,000 gallons a month in the summer without incurring punitive fees. For every 1,000 gallons of water they consume over the threshold, they will be charged $9. Last year, the water district made $32 million in total from those fees.

Lawns in the valley also may look different than they did a decade ago. With the passage of a bill in 2021, so-called “nonfunctional turf” will no longer be allowed to be irrigated with water from the Colorado River starting in 2027.

Homeowners who remove their grass in 2024 can benefit from an increased rebate, which water authority officials have said should cover the cost of the project.

Some tips from the water authority to use the least amount of water possible include watering in the early morning or late evening to reduce evaporation and using sprinklers for a maximum of 12 minutes a day in four-minute intervals an hour apart.

This story has been updated to remove incorrect information about the nonfunctional turf ban. It does not extend to homeowner lawns.

Contact Alan at ahalaly@reviewjournal.com. Follow @AlanHalaly on X.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.