After reading my article on money-saving tips you can employ for landscaping on a budget, reader, Vincent Iannelli wrote to tell me of another tack homeowners can take to save money, while still keeping their landscapes green: namely, they can drill a water well.
This is not a question of accessing drinking water (although, obviously, you can have that, too). Rather, the question is, If you do a lot of watering on your landscape, should you have a water well drilled, to lessen your dependence on the public water supply? Here is the information that Vince provided:
Cost of Having Water Wells Drilled
This is, of course, just one example: depending on many factors, including where you live, the cost of having water wells drilled will vary. But Vince reports that it cost him "about $1800" for a 60 foot x 2 foot water well.
Cost Savings From Water Wells
Vince has to water 2.5 acres (about 1 acre is covered by sprinklers) on his property in Texas (United States), and he feels that the cost of the installing water wells is well worth it, in the long run. "I think I will make up that money in water bills in just a year or so," he writes, adding, "In my old house, which was on half an acre, my water bills were about $150 to $200 a month during the summer. They are about $20 now."
Another Advantage: Water Wells Are Private
But the benefits of private water wells go beyond saving money on your water bill. Even if you would gladly spend the money for town water to save your thirsty plants in the middle of a hot summer, sometimes, there is simply no water to be had. Yes, we are talking here about those dreaded water shortages and the consequent bans on "non-essential watering. Who knows when your town government will turn off the spigot, leaving your landscape -- and the plants growing on it -- high and dry?
And on the subject of saving money, remember: If your plants (including the grass in your lawn) die from drought, it will cost you money to replace them -- assuming that you do not care to live on a desert. Owning a water well (even if only as a backup irrigation supply) improves the survival chances of your little oasis when drought strikes.
What if you are living from paycheck to paycheck, and you can't afford to install a water well at this time, even if it means saving money in the long run? Or what if you just do not have the time and energy to look into such an installation? An alternative is to opt for less thirsty plants. Check out this resource, which organizes drought-tolerant specimens according to category (that is, perennials, shrubs, etc.):