There is nothing more important to prosperity in the Western United States than water! We rely on water for drinking, bathing, agriculture, power generation, recreation, and our economy. In the West, much of our landscape is desert by nature—especially here in Utah. According to the National Climatic Data Center, Utah is the second driest state in the United States, behind only Nevada. On average, Utah receives less than 15 inches of total precipitation a year – including snowfall. Red Ledges is grateful to have had Pat Christoffer on the team for over 14 years as our Director of Agronomy. Pat is a renowned water expert and below he shares how we are conserving water as a community, and what you can do to help!
How Red Ledges is Conserving Water
And, what you can do to help!
1. Red Ledges has invested in state-of-the-art technology in the community, and on our golf courses
When building both of our golf courses, Red Ledges made a decision to not be excessive in the use of maintained turf. A typical golf course has 100 or more acres of maintained turf. Our Jack Nicklaus Championship Course has less than 85 acres, and our golf park has 25 acres. In maintaining them, we have invested in the very best current technology for managing water. With the latest software, educated staff, 20 in-ground moisture sensors, a brand-new state-of-the-art weather station, and industry leading turf management practices. We do an excellent job using as little water as possible while still keeping the golf courses lively and green.
Red Ledges is also taking the water management of our HOA-managed neighborhoods to a higher level by adding new irrigation clocks for residences so that their lawns can be managed like the golf course. This will allow us to reduce the water for irrigation at each home. As the HOA and Club start to use these clocks, we would like to assist owners of estate properties in doing the same.
You can install state-of-the-art technology, too! Please reach out to Daine Smith, Pat Christoffer, or John Johnson to learn more about how you can install an irrigation clock at your residence. Plus, a water-saving smart irrigation controller can qualify you for a money-saving rebate.
2. Red Ledges has thoughtfully planned landscaping, and they are preserving native grasses in our community (with your help)!
In most cases, the largest use of water at our homes is landscaping. Years ago, Red Ledges made a commitment, and partnered with our state and county water managers. Red Ledges thoughtfully planned landscaping design incorporated plant grass that needs to be maintained less, drought-tolerant plants, and trees that help reduce water use. It also resulted in the selection of the native grass and seed mix we chose for our community roadsides and landscapes for residences. These grasses do well with NO water once established – they look good, too!
How you can save water while landscaping your home:
DO NOT mow native grasses. Mowing stresses the plant and allows weeds to thrive. As summer heats up, brown native grass is normal. It is not dead—it is summer dormant; this is the plant in its best and natural state in the hotter months.
- Mow your lawn higher. Set mowing heights to 3-4 inches. Taller grass means deeper roots that can access water that is deeper in the soil. Tall grass also shades roots and soil to reduce evaporation loss.
- Remove or convert lawn that is rarely used to drought-tolerant and Utah native plants.
- Apply as little fertilizer to your lawn as possible. Applying excess fertilizer increases water consumption and creates more mowing for you! Use iron-based fertilizers to simply “green up” your lawn instead.
3. Red Ledges will reduce the amount of watering done on native and turf-grass areas, including sections along Lake Creek Road
Red Ledges will also be using less water on some of our native and turf-grass areas, including the grasses along Lake Creek Road. In previous years, we kept these grasses greener and mowed them frequently for esthetic purposes. Going forward, this area will be left in a more native state with a longer, more native look. We will also look to reduce our water footprint with in-depth audits of our landscaping throughout the community. Every drop counts!
You can water less, and save money too!
- Follow the weekly lawn watering guide and find out how many times per week you should water according to conditions for your county.
- Don’t water when it’s windy or raining.
- Don’t water between 10 a.m.- 6 p.m.
- Prioritize your watering to water the most valuable plants in your landscape first: Trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals, then grass. Grass is the toughest and will enter dormancy during times of drought and high temperatures and recover when conditions improve.
- Fix broken sprinkler heads and adjust them to water plants, not pavement.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water.
- Sweep driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying with a hose.
With a raised awareness and a collaborative effort, we can make a difference not only for today, but also for our future. Creating a “waterwise” culture within Red Ledges starts with all of us. Thank you for your continued support of all that makes Red Ledges a special place! For more information about the current drought, please read below for more information.
Meet Pat Christoffer
Red Ledges’ Water Expert
Pat Christoffer has a B.S and M.S. in Agronomy from Washington State University (Go Cougs!) and has been in the golf course industry for over 25 years and with Red Ledges since the very beginning, in 2007! Pat has spoken and written extensively on turf grass drought management. Pat lives in the Heber Valley with his beautiful wife and two wonderful young children.
Learn More About
Governor Cox has declared a state of emergency due to our drought conditions statewide. Utah has been in drought eight of the last 10 years, and this year we received less snow, which resulted in a more serious drought. The state-wide drought is caused by less precipitation, a growing population, and other environmental factors. For more information about Utah’s drought and water sources, please click here.