Water Conservation Tips
Tips For Conserving Precious Water
- Inspect all pipes and faucets for leaks
- Check toilets for hidden leaks
- Install ultra-low volume toilets and low-flow showerheads
- Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth, and take shorter showers
- Load the automatic dishwasher and washing machine to capacity before running them
- Clean vegetables using water in a pan and a vegetable brush rather than letting the tap run
- Insulate your hot water pipes to waste less water before hot water flows
- Wash the car with soap, water, and a bucket; use a hose with a shut-off nozzle for a quick final rinse
- Use a broom to clean sidewalks or driveway, instead of washing them down with a hose
- Adjust sprinklers so only the lawn is watered, and not the house, sidewalk or street
- Place a layer of mulch around trees and plants so more water can be retained.
Water Smart – Much of the water applied to lawns and gardens is never absorbed by plants. The greatest waste of water results from applying it too rapidly or too often. Water applied too rapidly is lost as runoff, which may carry polluting fertilizers and pesticides to streams and lakes. Some water evaporates when applied to bare, unmulched soil, or in the hot afternoon. The key to watering lawns is to apply the water infrequently, yet thoroughly. This encourages roots to grow deep, creating a well-rooted lawn that efficiently uses water stored in the soil. During prolonged periods of high temperatures, grass may go dormant, changing color from green to brown. Resist the temptation to keep watering in an attempt to “green-up” the lawn. You’ll be doing more harm than good; the unneeded water can induce root rot and other bacterial and insect problems that will keep your lawn from coming back when hot weather subsides.
Watering Trees, Shrubs and Ground Covers – As with lawns, apply water infrequently yet thoroughly. In the absence of rain, most trees, shrubs, and ground covers benefit from a thorough monthly watering during the growing season. Move a slow-running hose from point-to-point along the drip line of each plant until each area becomes saturated to a depth of 8-to-10 inches.
Drip Irrigation – Drip irrigation is more efficient than using a sprinkler. Drip irrigation slowly applies water to the soil. The water flows under low pressure through emitters, bubblers, or sprinkler heads placed at each plant. Water applied by drip irrigation has little chance of waste through evaporation or runoff.
Sprinkler Irrigation – Make sure that sprinkler heads are properly adjusted to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways. A sprinkler head should spray large droplets of water instead of a fog of fine mist, which wastes water by evaporation and wind drift. Water early in the morning when possible. Avoid watering from mid-morning to late afternoon; you can lose one-third of the water to evaporation. Avoid watering in the evening because lawns and plants left wet overnight are more prone to disease.
For more tips check out our Education and Research page.