When it comes to conserving water, small changes can have a big impact. The following is a list of things you can do outside and inside your home to see the potential water savings that can be realized from making simple changes.
Repair irrigation line leaks and broken sprinkler heads. Save up to 10 gallons per minute per leak.
Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray and runoff. Save up to 15 to 25 gallons per day.
Don’t over water. (1) Reduce each irrigation cycle by 1 to 3 minutes or eliminate one irrigation cycle per week. Water only when the top inch of soil is dry. (2) Replace batteries in your irrigation controller each spring and fall, and adjust your programming based on the season. Save 15 to 25 gallons for each minute; up to 250 gallons per cycle.
Use a hose nozzle that shuts off when you release the handle. Save up to 18 gallons per minute.
Water in the late evening or early morning to reduce evaporation and interference from wind. Save 20 to 25 gallons per day.
Apply a 3-inch layer of mulch over planting areas, keeping the mulch 6 inches away from plant stems and tree trunks to avoid mildew. Save 20 to 30 gallons per day per 1,000 square feet.
Install drip irrigation systems for trees, shrubs and flowers to get water to plant roots more efficiently. Save 20 to 25 gallons per day.
Turn off your irrigation 1 to 3 days before it’s expected to rain. Turn it back on when your soil is dry. This can save hundreds or potentially thousands of gallons. And speaking of rain, rain water harvesting is an excellent way to capture and reuse water that would otherwise go down the gutter.
Check your irrigation timer after a power outage to verify that the timer hasn't reset back to the manufacturer's setting. This can waste a significant amount of water as the timer can run for 10 minutes a day per station, which you may not notice. To avoid this, always make sure the battery is fresh in your irrigation timer and check the timer after all power outages. For help programming your timer, sign up for a free landscape irrigation audit.
Upgrade to a “smart” irrigation controller that automatically adjusts watering times for hotter weather and stops watering when it rains. Rebates may even be available for this type of product. Save 40 gallons per irrigation cycle.
Replace your lawn with native or Mediterranean plants, trees, shrubs or ground cover. These plantings provide greenery for much of the year and demand less water. Save 33 to 60 gallons per day per 1,000 square feet, depending on climate