Water is the quintessential resource. It sustains life of all kinds throughout the world and has been a pivotal resource for human civilization throughout time. Here in Amador County we steward a watershed that runs from the top of the Sierra Nevada's snowy peaks to the lowlands of the Central Valley.
While most of our Amador Counties population live in the lower elevations, it is the higher elevation snowpack which provides us with most of our summer water resources. Of course some rainwater does infiltrate into the ground recharging the groundwater aquifers but even our groundwater is mostly recharged by snowmelt at the higher elevations.
As the population of Amador and other California counties increases the amount of available water does not. This requires that we take steps towards water conservation for the good of our eco-system, ourselves, our neighbors and other downstream users.
When a plant, a tree or a lawn is given more water than it needs it does not benefit. This excess water often runs off into areas where it is not beneficial or in some cases even harmful. This wasted water is also made unavailable to other users who might need it to sustain life, in the case of animals, or for drinking or food production in the case of other humans.
Download the Amador County Master Gardener Plant Water Requirement Calculator to determine how much water your plants and trees actually need. The program uses Excel 2007. The third worksheet tab at the bottom of the page is a Mulch Calculator.
- Expand page to full screen.
- Click on first Worksheet Tab at the bottom of the page.
- Choose a plant or tree you would like to know the watering requirements for and enter the canopy diameter in feet OR area of canopy in square feet
- Choose between the "water use" options and enter one
- Enter 50 for % of available soil moisture or a different percentage (for more experienced users)
- Enter the root depth in feet ( a helpful list is provided)
- Choose the soil type that most closely matches your soil and enter it.
- Enter the percentage based on your plants microclimate (refer to list)
- Enter the month of year (January = 1, December = 12)
- Enter percentage of irrigation loss due to inefficiency
- Read the amount of water to be given to this specific plant or tree in inches or gallons/week.
- Click on second worksheet tab at the bottom of the page. Complete cells B4, B5, & B6. Additional information is at bottom of the page.