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  6.  » Ways to Conserve Water

Conserve Water at Home

There are many things you can do to ensure a clean, reliable water source as our planet faces population growth, booming development, and global warming, while saving money in the process.  

  • Turn off the faucet while brushing your teeth.
  • Only run the washing machine and dishwasher when you have a full load.
  • Use a low flow shower head and faucet aerators.
  • Fix leaks.
  • Install a dual flush or low flow toilet or put a conversion kit on your existing toilet.
  • Don’t over-water your lawn or water during peak periods, and install rain sensors on irrigation systems.
  • Install a rain barrel for outdoor watering.
  • Plant a rain garden for catching storm water runoff from your roof, driveway, and other hard surfaces.
  • Monitor your water usage on your water bill and ask your local government about a home water audit.
  • Share your knowledge about saving water through conservation and efficiency with your neighbors.

Conserve Water in Your Garden and Landscape

Conserving water in the landscape starts with re-thinking the ways you use and apply water to plantings. Here are some ideas:

  • Use an Adjustable Sprinkler | Trade in a non-adjustable oscillating sprinkler for one that offers multiple watering patterns to let you direct water where it’s needed, avoiding wasteful runoff.
  • Install Drip Irrigation | DIY systems combine professional grade materials with simple installation, resulting in water being delivered directly to the root zone of plants, eliminating runoff and losses through evaporation.
  • Water Saving Containers | Glazed terra cotta containers don’t just look great, they also don’t lose water through the pot sides, meaning less frequent watering.
  • Harvest Rain With Cisterns | Cisterns provide a large water storage option for roof runoff. Unlike rain barrels, cisterns are covered, eliminating concerns such as mosquitos.  Some even include a pump to facilitate water flow.
  • Water at the Right Rime of Day | Water in-ground plantings in the morning and containers in the afternoon for healthier plants.
  • Replace or Reduce Lawn Size | Outdoor living and dining rooms help you get outside while reducing water-guzzling lawn care.
  • Build a Rain Garden | These can be large or small and are designed to slow down and help filter pollutants from storm runoff.
  • Recycle Household Water | Catch and save water from household chores to use in the garden. Keep empty five-gallon buckets on hand to catch water from a dehumidifier. Use plastic milk jugs to save cold water that typically runs down the drain while you wait for it to turn hot.
  • Mow Your Lawn High | How you mow has a huge impact on how thirsty your law is. Mowing turf high encourages roots to sink deep, which means the lawn won’t need watering as often. 
  • Plant in Blocks | Arrange vegetable gardens in small blocks instead of rows, which is more efficient to water.
  • Install Porous Hardscape | Gravel or pebble patios combine good looks with low-maintenance upkeep that’s also easy on the environment, allowing water to drain freely, instead of creating storm runoff.
  • Make Your Own Compost | Compost is one of the best additives to soil because it helps to retain water in sandy soils and improve drainage in clay soils. Making compost is easy, and adding compost to soil fosters a healthy soil-food web.
  • Water Slopes Carefully | Set irrigation systems to run for more, but shorter cycles on sloping sites, giving the ground time to absorb the water, helping to reduce runoff.
  • Space Plantings Tightly | Arranging plants tightly not only creates a full design, it also helps to shade soil. Plants that grow shoulder to shoulder act like living mulch, helping to suppress weeds and slow water evaporation from soil.
  • Group Plants by Water Needs | Arrange plantings in zones based on water use. Group thirsty plants together, including things like bedding plants and lawn. Keep lower water use plants like shrubs and drought tolerant perennials in a separate area.
  • Select Low Water Use Plants | Swap water guzzling plants for low water beauties. Many drought tolerant plants feature leaves that are silver, spiny or succulent (thick) in nature. 
  • Install a Water Timer | Make watering hands-free with a programmable timer. Some include a soil moisture sensor that detects how wet soil is to help prevent overwatering.
  • Focus on Drought-Tolerant Perennials | Selections like Purple Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) and burgundy tinted purple fountain grass (Pennisetum setaceum ‘Rubrum’) provide a long season of color and don’t need heavy amounts of water.
  • Recycle Rainfall | A rain barrel is easy to set up, and the water you collect can easily be recycled on container or landscape plantings. A rain barrel also reduces the amount of rainwater runoff your property produces.