Outdoor Tips

A cartoon depiction of a houseOutdoor Water Conservation Tips

  • The majority of your water use is outside your home. Below are some easy tips to help you conserve as much as possible.  
  • Water between 6 to 8 am, when it is cooler outside and there is less evaporation. Avoid watering on rainy or windy days.
  • Be sure to adjust sprinkler timers to the season. More watering is needed in the hot, arid months, and less is needed during the cold, wet months. Always check your plants to see if they need more or less water, because both overwatering and under watering can cause landscaping to die.
  • Regularly check your sprinklers and sprinkler valves to ensure they are in proper working order. This includes checking for damaged sprinkler heads, which should be replaced with high efficient models. It also includes checking that the yard isn’t being overwatered, causing runoff.
  • Landscape smarter! Plant during the spring or fall when temperatures are lower, meaning plants will need less water. Avoid planting in areas that are difficult to water, such as steep inclines. Group plants with similar watering needs together. Choose drought-tolerant, California native species to get the most out of your yard. Be sure to weed regularly, because weeds need water, too.
  • Installing a drip system will help get water directly to shrubs and trees, while also allowing you to adjust how much water goes to each. For maximum effect, be sure to add a layer of mulch or gravel around plants to help reduce evaporation (this can also help hide the drip system hoses).
  • Let your lawn grow longer during the dryer months. This will keep your soil moister and require less watering. This also results in deeper rooting and shade for the root zone, which will mean less water needed over time.
  • Using porous materials for walkways and patios will help keep water in your yard and prevent wasteful runoff.
  • When using the hose, attach a nozzle that stops the water when you’re not using it. Also, save water by using a broom to clean your driveway or sidewalk, rather than the hose.
  • If you wish to install ornamental water features and fountains, be sure to choose one that recycles its water. Avoid ones that spray water into the air, as they will lose more water to evaporation.
  • Be sure to cover your pool when not in use. This will help reduce evaporation, thus reducing the need to top the pool off when you want to use it. Also, periodically checking that your pool pump is operating correctly will help you detect problems, like leaks, early on.
  • Rain water from roof tops and eves can be captured in a container for use in your garden.