“Stress Your Lawn, Save Your Trees,” Local Water Providers Urge by Regional Water Authority Oct 6, 2021 Member Submitted News Sacramento-area water providers have launched a new campaign asking residents to reduce lawn watering while continuing to water trees. The advertising, which appears on billboards throughout the Sacramento region, on the radio and online, is focused on educating the public that lawns can handle less water but that drought-stressed trees can be lost forever. “We know that reducing lawn watering is the fastest way to cutting overall water use during a drought and to achieving the 15 percent reduction requested by Gov. Newsom,” said Amy Talbot, Water Efficiency Program Manager for the Regional Water Authority (RWA), which represents 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the Sacramento region. “But, reductions shouldn’t come at the expense of trees—that’s a major lesson we learned during the last drought.” Satellite imagery from the Sacramento Tree Foundation demonstrates how Sacramento’s urban tree canopy took a big hit during the last drought. “While healthy trees can recover from short periods of drought stress, prolonged periods without water will eventually kill the tree, and it may take years before the tree finally succumbs,” said Stephanie Robinson, Communications Manager for the Sacramento Tree Foundation. “Unfortunately, it will take decades to replace the mature trees we lost during the last drought.” RWA and local water providers suggest that people try skipping one lawn watering cycle per week while giving trees an extra drink with the “bucket method,” a soaker hose fitted with a timer, or drip irrigation. “The good news is that fall is here, and with it comes shorter and cooler days. This means your lawn doesn’t need as much water,” Talbot said, noting that many water providers will move to one day per week watering beginning November 1. RWA and the Sacramento Tree Foundation have partnered on several videos to demonstrate how to properly water and care for trees. These include: How to use the “Bucket Method” to give young trees the water they need How to help mature trees survive the dry months Additional tree watering tips and resources are available at BeWaterSmart.info/trees and sactree.com/water. The Regional Water Authority (RWA) is a joint powers authority representing 20 water providers serving 2 million people in the greater Sacramento region. Formed in 2001, its primary mission is to help its members protect and enhance the reliability, availability, affordability and quality of water resources. Learn more at BeWaterSmart.info and rwah2o.org. The Sacramento Tree Foundation is a community benefit organization working to grow thriving communities through stewardship of our urban forest.