How to Conserve Water Outside the Home

  1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. 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, fetch the sprinkler.
  2. The watering of lawns and gardens can double normal household water use during the hot, dry summer months. At standard household water pressures, a garden hose will discharge up to 6.5 gallons of water per minute. To apply an inch of water to 1,000 square feet of lawn or garden requires 620 gallons of water.
  3. Watering should be limited to gardens and newly-planted lawns and landscaped areas. Established lawns and landscape plantings will usually survive without watering. Inadequate watering encourages shallow root growth and increases the risk of mortality. When water is scarce, your community or individual water supply should be reserved for your most essential needs. 
  4. Deep-soak your lawn. When you do water, 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. Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems to reduce the amount of water used for irrigation by 20 to 50 percent. 
  5. Water during the cool parts of the day. Every morning generally is better than dusk since it helps prevent growth of fungus. 
  6. Don't water the gutter. Position your sprinklers so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas. Also, avoid watering on windy days. 
  7. Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Many beautiful trees and plants thrive with far less watering than other species. 
  8. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Mulch will slow evaporation of moisture and discourage weed growth, too. 
  9. Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks. 
  10. Don't run the hose while washing your car. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water. Use the hose just to rinse it off.
  11. Tell your children not to play with the hose and sprinklers.
  12. Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, faucets, and couplings. Leaks outside the house may not seem as bad since they're not as visible. But they can be just as wasteful as leaks inside. Check frequently and keep them drip-free.