Prairie-Smart Watering: Cycle & Soak Method

Pueblo West Outdoor Watering  AdobeStock_138762502 (1)

Pueblo West is an arid region that receives only 12 inches of rainfall each year versus the US average of 38 inches. Our primary source of drinking water is Twin Lakes, located just south of Leadville. With an arid climate and limited drinking water supplies, it is essential to use water wisely, especially during dry years where there is an even greater need to conserve. 

Pueblo West Metropolitan District recommends Prairie-Smart Watering practices that can save water and reduce your water bill.

Top 5 Tips

Watering is prohibited between the hours of 10 a.m. & 6 p.m. In warmer temperatures, watering during that time results in water loss from evaporation.

Water no more than two days per week. 

Use the “cycle and soak” method to maximize the effectiveness of watering - and reduce water usage and cost

Check your sprinklers for leaks, overspray, and misting.

  • Replace lawn areas with native and drought-tolerant plants. 

Watering Guidelines

Watering before 10 a.m. or after 6 p.m. reduces water loss from evaporation and wind by up to 90 percent.  To achieve a deep root system in your lawn (making it stronger and more drought-resistant), water no more than three days per week. Our watering guide shows you how many days per week to water and how much water to apply based on the average temperature each month.

PW Watering Guide

Irrigation & Sprinkler Maintenance

A well-designed and efficient irrigation system can cut outdoor water use by 60 percent or more. Check your sprinklers regularly for leaks, overspray, and misting. Use a timing device with any watering system or consider using a smart controller to ensure you are only watering for the time and amount of water your landscape needs.

Cycle & Soak

The soil in Pueblo West is made up of heavy clay that tends to hold water for longer periods of time compared to other soils. The cycle and soak approach breaks up your total watering time into three intervals, spaced at least 30 minutes apart. This allows water to soak into the soil before running off, promoting deeper root growth and healthier plants. See our cycle and soak guide for how to set up.


What to Plant

Replace thirsty lawn areas with drought-tolerant plants such as native species that require much less water and thrive in Colorado’s climate. Native plants provide pops of color to your garden and are a welcoming habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies.

Plant Select is the leading source of plants designed to succeed in the high plains and Rocky Mountain Region. These plants are resilient, flourish with minimal water, and provide long-lasting beauty.

A few examples:

Fire Spinner Ice Plant

Fire Spinner Ice Plant

humming bird


Black-eyed susan with butterflyBlack-eyed Susan