Easy Ways to Reduce Water Use

Indoors - Year Round Savings
  • Find and fix all leaks, especially toilet leaks; replace thier flappers.
  • Install water-saving devices like low-flow showerheads and faucet aerators.
  • Consider buying a front-loading clothes washer to save water and energy.
  • Consider buying high a High Efficiency Toilet (HET), which uses 1.28 gallons or less per flush.
  • Take shorter showers; cut your shower to 4 minutes to save around 2,700 gallons per year.
  • Don't leave water running when brushing teeth, washing your hands, shaving, or doing the dishes.
  • Run dishwashers and clothes washers with full loads only, or adjust the water level to match the size of the load.
  • Use the garbage disposal only if if you must.
  • Use the wastebasket, not the toilet to dispose of trash.

Outdoors - Watering & Gardening

  • Attach a nozzle with a shutoff valve to the end of your hose.
  • Apply water only as fast as the soil can absorb it.  If you notice runoff, divide the watering time into two cycles to allow the water time to soak in.
  • Consider installing drip irrigation to apply water slowly and directly to the roots of the plants.
  • Water your garden in the morning to give the water time to soak into the ground before wind and heat of the sun cause it to evaporate.
  • Water to the depth of the plant roots (about 6 inches for lawns, 9 inches for ground cover, 12 inches for shrubs, and 18-24 inches for trees).
  • Use a soil probe (or dig down in the plant's root area using a trowel) to determine if you are watering properly.
  • Water your garden only when it needs it.  It is time to water lawn when it doesn't spring back when walked on.
  • Aim your sprinklers to water your garden, not the sidewalk or other paved areas; check your sprinkler system for problems regularly.
  • Adjust your watering schedule with the weather and the season.  If you have an automatic system, remember to turn it off in the winter.
  • Plant water-conserving plants.
  • Group thirst plants together, away from un-thirsty ones and adjust your watering schedule as your garden matures.  Newly planted landscapes need water more frequently than mature ones.
  • Improve your soil by incorporating organic matter.  This aerates your soil, and improves its ability to hold water.
  • Prevent weeds from stealing water from your garden by pulling them promptly and applying mulch regularly.
  • Mow grasses higher, between 3 to 4 inches, to reduce water loss.
  • Fertilize less often, only in the spring and fall.  Fertilizing encourages rapid plant growth and thirsty plants.
  • California native plants don't need fertilizing.
  • Aerate the lawn by punching holes in the soil.  This improves the movement of water into the root area and reduces wasteful runoff.

Outdoors - Other Activities

  • Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
  • Cover pools and spas, and cut water loss by 90%.
  • Don't let the hose run while your wash your car; use a bucket and nozzle with a shut off valve on your outside hose.

Links and Resources

The following are some external links with information about water conservation and landscape design:

https://saveourwater.com - Tips to conserve water.

https://water.ca.gov/Water-Basics/Conservation-Tips/Plant-and-Landscape-Guide - California Department of Water Resources – Water efficient landscaping guidance.

https://www.epa.gov/watersense/landscaping-tips - US EPA Water Sense – Tips for water-smart landscape for your home or property.


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