Even though the summer of 2016 was humid, the Baar, with its continental climate, often lacks water. . If climatologists are not mistaken and temperatures continue to rise in the coming years, extreme droughts are likely to become even more frequent in the future. Even if drinking water in Donaueschingen does not become scarce so quickly, it makes sense to use it sparingly.

The situation is particularly critical in summer. The pouring of the sources decreases, at the same time however the need of the households rises. Because to the normal consumption for Waschzweke and the toilet flushing come then still completely substantial
Quantities for the irrigation of the garden.

Fir feather duster, a rare native water plant in the garden pond. (Source: K.H. Nübel)

Anyone who uses tap water for this is to blame for having to pay water and wastewater fees. With comparatively little effort, a free water reservoir can be opened up: rainwater from the roof. If flaps are installed in the gutters, the run-off water can be easily drained in tons and used for watering the vegetable garden. With some barrels smaller dry periods can be bridged in such a way.

If you want to store more water, you can have an underground concrete tank installed, as offered by a Donaueschingen construction company. This then holds several cubic meters of water, but buying and installing is not entirely cheap. The easiest installation is during the construction period of a house, before the garden is laid out. In this case, a pump is needed for the irrigation of the garden.

In some construction areas, the construction of rainwater cisterns is now even prescribed. This should save valuable drinking water.

For very clever water savers there is also the possibility to use rainwater collected in this way for domestic purposes (washing machine, toilet flushing). Due to the sewage fee, this must of course be approved by the city. Filters can be installed in various places. Or you can make sure that the first flood of rainwater from the roof, which is usually very dirty, is not collected and that the water only reaches the tanks after a quarter of an hour.

No matter whether the water for the garden comes from the house roof or from the waterworks: economical use of it is the be-all and end-all. Watering in the midday heat is hardly good for your plants: most of the water will evaporate again immediately. It is much more effective to water in the evening when it gets cool again.

Newts are the typical inhabitants of an ecologically successful garden pond. They are under nature conservation. (Source: K.H. Nübel)

When watering, the vegetable garden has priority over the lawn. If the grass turns brown in a dry summer, it doesn’t do much harm: the roots survive at all. The need for water is another argument in favour of a rarely mown flower meadow and against the short lawn. Because a meadow tolerates a few weeks of drought much better.

Not everyone has the option of creating a larger garden pond in their garden. However, everyone can create at least a small water surface as a bird bath or bird bath, even if it is only a buried bowl. Especially in summer, when small water bodies in the open landscape are often dried up, such puddles are an attraction for birds. From the window you can watch a blackbird drinking or a sparrow bathing. And also for a number of insect species like butterflies and bees even the smallest water surface is still interesting.

Gerhard Bronner

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