Is that mid-day watering really necessary?

So what is up with the watering of Cowichan’s ballfields?

The practice has come under fire in the last few weeks, with a number of Citizen readers contacting us wondering why, exactly, in this time of serious drought, with months of dry weather likely still to come before the fall rains begin, they are seeing watering systems in full swing when they drive or walk past community fields.

First, it’s important for people to know that these fields are exempt from the watering restrictions that the rest of us are currently under. So nobody’s actually breaking the rules.

And we defend the idea of using a certain amount of water to keep these fields from being permanently damaged by the dry weather.

After all, it will be the taxpayers who take the hit if turfs need to be replaced, and nobody wants that.

It’s just plain stupid, whether we’re talking buildings or outdoor facilities, to neglect the upkeep of our collective assets, leading to avoidable replacement costs.

But residents objecting to some of the watering have some good points to make too.

We are not convinced at all that watering needs to be done during the heat of the day.

There’s a good reason that watering for residential users is restricted to early morning and evening hours.

When watering systems, particularly those that sprinkle from above, are used while the sun is baking down a huge amount of the moisture is wasted through evaporation before it even has a chance to do any good. And what does make it to the ground dries up in record time when exposed to full sun.

These systems are on timers, and our governments need to take a serious look at using those timers to water at night.

It makes monitoring more challenging, yes, but the tradeoff would be worth it.

We hope they are also heeding the advice to leave the grass longer during the hot, dry weather, to help shield the roots and make less watering necessary. Players can adapt.

If nothing else, watering schedule changes would make it feel a bit more like we’re all in this together.

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