Water Conservation

Water conservation through efficient landscape management will help preserve our water resources.

6 Tips on How to Water Landscaping Efficiently

Over 70% of the Earth’s surface is covered by water, though while this precious natural resource seems abundant only 2.5% of all water is fresh water, the rest is salt water.  If we breakdown this statistic even further, nearly 70% of that freshwater is frozen in the polar icecaps, or deep in inaccessible underground aquifers.  Finally this leaves humans with less than 1% of the Earth’s freshwater available for consumption, equating to 0.007% of all water on earth.  Now that you know these statistics you can see how water conservation is important to everyone and here we will discuss 6 tips on watering your landscaping efficiently.

Tips on How to Conserve WaterRecent studies indicate that for most American households, up to 50% of their water usage is for outdoor watering of lawns and gardens.  Watering efficiently will help you conserve water and save money, it also creates a healthier landscaping since over watering can promote fungus growth and other diseases.  It is important to remember that over watering can also create wastewater runoff, which will contribute to the polluting of our freshwater resources.  The most efficient way to conserve water in relation to landscaping is to design a yard that is self sustainable, mainly on rainfall after the plants are established.  This principle of water conservation is known as xeriscaping, which simply means landscaping or gardening in ways that eliminate the need to supplement water from irrigation system.  If your yard is not designed in such ways, implementing the following efficient watering tips can save water, money and help you have a beautiful yard at the same time.

  • Water only when needed: Water your plants and lawn only when they need it or show signs of stress. Over watered grass has short roots that make it more difficult to survive droughts, pests and diseases. Make sure you follow the local water use restrictions in your area as well.
  • Take advantage of your free water resource – the rain: Put a rain gauge in your yard to track rainfall or use moisture sensors so that you will know if the yard has enough water, helping you avoid unnecessary watering.  You can also collect water in a rain barrel to use for your garden and potted plants; this is a cheap and easy way to conserve water.
  • Use an automatic rain shutoff:  Connect an automatic rain shutoff device to your sprinkler system to avoid watering when the rain can do the job for you.  A good practice is to set the shutoff device to 1/2 inch so it will override your system’s timer when there is enough rainfall.
  • Use low volume irrigation:  Install a drip or micro-spray system in your plant beds. This type of system uses water more efficiently than the traditional spray heads
  • Use best practices for lawn mowing:  Mow your lawn higher to promote a deeper, more drought and pest tolerant root system.  For each mowing, cut no more than 1/3 the height of the grass blades.
  • Optimize your sprinkler system:  Watering a 5000 square-foot yard with an in-ground sprinkler system can cost more than $10 per each application.  For greatest water efficiency, design or modify your sprinkler system to water lawn areas separately from the plant areas which usually use less water.  You should also calibrate your sprinklers to apply only 1/2 to 3/4 inches of water per application to reduce wastewater while maintaining an attractive landscape.

With less than 1% of all freshwater available for human consumption, watering your landscaping efficiently is a must, especially when living a sustainable lifestyle.  These practices help reduce the cost and need for developing new water supplies, leaving more water in the reservoirs and rivers for wildlife and recreation.

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