Check your sprinklers to make sure water lands on the lawn or garden, not
on paved areas.
Early morning watering is generally better than dusk since it helps
prevent the growth of fungus and reduces water loss to evaporation. Watering
early in the day is also the best defense against slugs and other garden pests.
Many beautiful shrubs and plants thrive with far less watering than other
species. To save water, select native plants – they will use less water and be
more resistant to local plant diseases. Consider applying the principles of
xeriscape for a low-maintenance, drought resistant yard.
Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture while discouraging weed growth.
Adding 2 - 4 inches of organic material such as compost or bark mulch will
increase the ability of the soil to retain moisture. Press the mulch down around
the dripline of each plant to form a slight depression which will prevent or
minimize water runoff.
A good way to see if your lawn needs watering is to step on the grass. If
it springs back up when you move, it doesn't need water. If it stays flat, the
lawn is ready for watering. Letting the grass grow taller (to 3") will also
promote water retention in the soil.
Most lawns only need about 1" of water each week. During dry spells, you
can stop watering altogether and the lawn will go brown and dormant. Once cooler
weather arrives, the morning dew and rainfall will bring the lawn back to its
usual vigor. This may result in a brown summer lawn, but it saves a lot of
Clean the car using a pail of soapy water, and wash your car on the lawn
– this will water your lawn and avoid soapy water flowing to the storm drain.
Use the hose only for rinsing, and use a spray nozzle. These simple tips can
save as much as 150 gallons when washing a car. Better yet, use the local car
wash. Commercial car washes are required to recycle their water, the biggest
savings of all.
When watering the lawn, do it long enough for the moisture to soak down
to the roots where it will do the most good. A light sprinkling can evaporate
quickly and tends to encourage shallow root systems. Put an empty tuna can on
your lawn - when it's full, you've watered about the right amount.
Using these tips on a daily basis, the average household, using 350 gallons
per day, could save 125 gallons of water per day. The average individual,
currently using 70 gallons per day, could save 25 gallons of water per day. This
adds up quickly! You really can make a difference if you incorporate these water
conservation habits into your everyday routine.