WaterSmart Yard - Watering Recommendations


Welcome to WaterSmart Yard!

Below you will find free weekly watering recommendations for your yard or garden. This information is also available through a recording at 707-543-3466.

Santa Rosa Water has two weather stations linked to the State of California’s CIMIS program:
  • Station #83 on Llano Road on the West side of town
  • Station #158 at the Bennett Valley Golf Course on the East side of town
This data is used to create the following WaterSmart Yard irrigation scheduling recommendations.

We are almost in the irrigation season! Check back April 26th for updated watering recommendations.

Irrigation Scheduling Recommendations

Event/Task West East Drip Program
Evapotranspiration (Inches)
- - - -
Pop-Up Spray*
- - - A
Rotor / Impact*
- - - A
Low Water Plants (Drip)*
- - - B
Moderate Water Plants (Drip)*
- - - B
Watering Days (Weekly)
- - - -
Number of Start Times (Daily)
- - - -
Low Water Trees**
- - - C
Moderate Water Trees**
- - - C
*Watering time in minutes.

**For younger trees, follow the recommendations for the appropriate water use plants until roots are established. Typically, this is around 15 gallons 2 - 4 times per week. For mature trees, apply the recommended water once a week slowly to avoid runoff. For larger, well-established trees, apply twice the amount of recommended water every two weeks. Trees should be watered in multiple locations within the drip line (canopy) of the tree.

Example Water Schedule

30 minutes total per week, 3 watering days and 2 start times, set your timer as follows:
  • Program - 5 minutes run time with 2 start times (5 a.m. and 6 a.m.) set to water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday.
For help determining sprinkler type, precipitation rates, or information about using WaterSmart for your entire garden, call 707-543-3985, Monday through Thursday and alternating Fridays.

Adjusting Controller Settings Based on Watering Index

If your timer has a "Seasonal Adjust" or "Water Budget %"option, you can use the Watering Index to adjust the schedule on your controller, without having to adjust each watering time entry.
  • First, set your controller's season or budget to 100%
  • Then enter a complete program for a warm summer month's schedule (what July would need)
  • Next adjust your controller's "% adjustment" with the watering index below to match the current weather. This should be adjusted weekly.
  • You may want to consider adjusting the number of watering days and start times for your peak (100%) schedule in both the early and later part of the irrigation season.
*Suggested run times are based on an irrigation efficiency of 100%. While drip irrigation is about 95% efficient, sprinkler efficiency varies greatly.
Sprinklers on Turf
Minutes* (Peak Week)
Summer - Watering Days & Start Times
Spring & Fall - Watering Days & Start Times
Pop-Up Sprays
45 3 - 4 days / 3 start times
2 - 3 days / 1 - 2 start times
Rotor or Impact
120 3 - 4 days / 3 start times
2 - 3 days / 1 - 2 start times
Drip on Plants
Moderate Water-Use Plants
65 2 days / 2 start times
1 day / 1 start time
Low Water-Use Plants
32 2 days / 2 start times
1 day / 1 start times

Historical Data

Reference Evapotranspiration (ETo) Data (Inches)

Displays reference evapotranspiration rates for cool season turf 4 to 6 inches tall, well watered, and densely planted in large pastures.

Rainfall Data in Inches

Displays rainfall data collected at CIMIS stations in Santa Rosa.

ETo Minus Effective Rainfall (Inches)

Combines the data of the first two tables. Because not all rainfall received is useful to plants, rainfall data has been adjusted to account for this. That is why the title of this table refers to "effective rainfall."

The following documents contain evapotranspiration data and rainfall data for our weather stations on the East and West side of Santa Rosa. The document is separated into three sections: