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New water rules start Wednesday: Run your sprinkler 1 day a week

Nevada is on track to use the lowest amount of water since the late 1990s, and to help keep it that way, users should be aware of winter water restrictions that limit spray or drip irrigation to one day a week.

Winter irrigation rules begin Wednesday and run through Feb. 29, according to the Southern Nevada Water Authority.

“Residents and businesses must change their landscape irrigation clocks to water only on their one assigned watering day in accordance with the community’s mandatory seasonal watering schedule,” the authority said in a news release.

Sunday watering is prohibited year-round. Watering on days other than your assigned watering day, or allowing water to spray or flow off your property, is considered water waste and may result in fees starting as high as $80 and increasing for repeat violations, according to the water authority.

The past wet winter, combined with lower water demands, raised Lake Mead levels by more than 20 feet this year. However, “it’s important to know that one good year of favorable hydrology will not reverse the decades-long drought along the Colorado River — Lake Mead levels are still down more than 140 feet,” the water authority said. “Saving water continues to be crucial for our community.”

The agency offered some best practices to help the community save water — and better manage monthly bills, including:

— Irrigate grass 12 minutes total per day in three cycles of four minutes each, set one hour apart, to avoid waste and runoff.

— Water during the mid-morning hours to prevent ice from forming on lawns and sidewalks.

— Run drip irrigation once every seven to 14 days, as water-efficient trees and plants need much less water than grass.

— Change the time on your irrigation clock to coincide with the end of daylight saving time at 2 a.m. Sunday.

Nevada is on track to use 200,000 consumptive acre-feet of water in 2023, the lowest annual total since the late 1990s, Southern Nevada Water Authority spokesman Bronson Mack said last week. Last year the state used 223,000 acre-feet, and its allotment under current water restrictions is 275,000 acre-feet.

For more information on how to conserve water, including conservation programs, seasonal watering restrictions and preventing and reporting water waste, go to snwa.com.

Contact Marvin Clemons at mclemons@reviewjournal.com.

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