Water has become a critical issue for most Texans. And while recent rainfall has raised area lake levels and eased local water restrictions; booming populations are increasing the demand on the areas limited water supply. Seasonal fluctuations in rainfall and periodic droughts create a feast-to-famine cycle for residence living in the Coastal Bend. In urban areas, about 25 percent of the water supply is used to water landscapes and gardens. In the summer, as much as 60 percent of the water the average household uses may be used for landscape maintenance. Many landscapes require large amounts of water and much of this water is applied inefficiently. While adopting efficient lawn irrigation techniques can help save large amounts of water, a comprehensive program of landscape water conservation can dramatically reduce landscape water demand.

This idea is better known as Xeriscape landscaping but it need not be all cactus and rocks. A Xeriscape landscape has plenty of room for lush turf grass and shade trees. There are seven water saving principals of Xeriscape landscaping: planning and design, soil analysis and preparation, practical turf areas, appropriate plant selection, efficient irrigation, use of mulches, and appropriate maintenance. None of these practices are new and by incorporating these seven principles, you can help preserve our most precious natural resource – water.

With this in mind the City of Corpus Christi hosts an annual Xeriscape Symposium to promote these concepts amongst municipal water users. The whole purpose of the Symposium is to help residents learn to make the most of their landscape with the least amount of water! This year Symposium will be held on Saturday January 30 at the Del Mar Center for Economic Development – Room 106, from 8am to noon. The program is free and will feature three speakers addressing plant selection, insect and weed control, and soil management. City staff will also be giving updates on our area water resources.

Xeriscaping conserves water in the landscape without sacrificing beauty and plant diversity. The information in this article was adapted from Extension publication B-1584 “Xeriscape: Landscape Water Conservation.” For more information on Xeriscape landscaping contact our office at 361.767.5223. 

Individuals with disabilities, who require an auxiliary aid, service or accommodation in order to participate in any of the mentioned activities, are encouraged to contact the County Extension Office eight days before all programs for assistance. Extension programs serve people of all ages regardless of socioeconomic level, race, color, sex, religion, disability or national origin. 

Educational programs of the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service are open to all people without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status. The Texas A&M University System, U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the County Commissioners Courts of Texas Cooperating