Tips for Outdoor Water Conservation

     

  • Water before 5:30 a.m. or after 6 p.m. and avoid watering on windy days. If you sprinkle your lawn under the hot midday sun, you will lose as much as 30 percent of your water to evaporation. 2, 3, 4
  • Avoid sprinklers that spray a fine mist, which increases evaporation. Lawns can only absorb water so fast. It’s better to water you lawn for three, 10-minute sessions (with each session 30 minutes apart) than it is to water steadily for 30 minutes and cause runoff into gutters. 1, 3
  • Water your lawn only when the grass does not spring back up when you step on it. Keep grass at least two inches high to shade roots and hold moisture. For additional information on how to prevent over watering of lawns and landscapes visit: University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.  1, 3, 4
  • Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Water trees slowly, deeply, and infrequently to encourage deep rooting. For additional information on how to develop landscape that requires less water visit University of Arkansas Division of Agriculture.  1, 2, 3, 4
  • Aerate lawns regularly and put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and discourage weed growth. Weeds are water thieves, so keep the garden free of them. 1, 3, 4
  • Keep track of how long you water. A kitchen timer is a handy reminder for turning off sprinklers. 2
  • Make sure sprinklers cover just the lawn or garden, not sidewalks, driveways, and gutters. Also, avoid watering on windy days. For additional information on how to adjust sprinkler heads to reduce watering of driveways and streets visit: EPA WaterSense. 2, 3, 4
  • Use a spray nozzle with a cutoff handle on your hose so water doesn’t flow continuously. Your garden hose can pour out 600 gallons or more in only a few hours. Thousands of gallons can be lost in a very short time. 2
  • Check your hose connections often for leaks. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad because they are not as visible. But, they can be just as wasteful as leaks inside. 4
  • Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water. Use the hose just for rinsing. 2, 4
  • Use a broom or leaf blower, not a hose, to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. 1, 2, 4

References:

  1. A Consumer’s Guide to Water Conservation – The Outside Story, American Water Works Association
  2. Household Guide to Water Conservation, American Water Works Association
  3. Landscaping to Save Water, American Water Works Association
  4. 25 Things You Can Do to Prevent Water Waste, American Water Works Association