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    How to Conserve Water Outdoors

    Everyday Outdoor Water Conservation

    • Routinely inspect your water pumps. If you notice that the pump turns on while not using any water then this can indicate a leak in the system
    • When planting grass, shrubs, trees and other plants, check to make sure that they are native to the area or are known to tolerated low rainfall. Native plants that are used to the area are usually more tolerant to climate change and can survive easier with less water.
    • There are many ways to irregate your lawn and garden to be more water efficient. Consider using micro and drip systems or even a soaker hose as these methods maximize your water efficiency with every use.
    • Mulch can help you retain water in your garden and control weeds, which compete with your other plants for water.
    • Avoid purchasing recreational water toys that require a constant stream of water.
    • Avoid installing ornamental water features (such as fountains) unless they use re-circulated water.
    • Consider rainwater harvesting where practical. (Learn more about rainwater harvesting)
    • Contact your local water provider for information and assistance.

    Lawn Care

    • Position sprinklers so water lands on the lawn and shrubs and not on paved areas.
    • Repair sprinklers that spray a fine mist. Most misting issues result from a pressure problem, properly regulating pressure in an irrigation system will prevent misting.
    • Check sprinkler systems and timing devices regularly to be sure they operate properly.
    • Raise the lawn mower blade to at least three inches or to its highest level. A higher cut 
      encourages grass roots to grow deeper, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture.
    • Plant drought-resistant lawn seed. Reduce or eliminate lawn areas that are not used frequently.
    • Avoid over-fertilizing your lawn. Applying fertilizer increases the need for water. Apply fertilizers that contain slow-release, water-insoluble forms of nitrogen.
    • Choose a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers.
    • Turn irrigation down in fall and off in winter. Water manually in winter only if needed.
    • Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds.
    • Invest in a weather-based irrigation controller—or a smart controller. These devices will automatically adjust the watering time and frequency based on soil moisture, rain, wind, and evaporation and transpiration rates. Check with your local water agency to see if there is a rebate available for the purchase of a smart controller.

    Pool

    • Install a new water-saving pool filter. A single back flushing with a traditional filter uses 180 to 250 gallons of water.
    • Cover pools and spas to reduce evaporation of water.

     

    These are all valuable water saving tips that can help you and your neighbors be better prepared for a drought. By conserving water in your home and setting an example for your friends and neighbors to do the same, you and your community will run a much lower risk of having a water shortage.

    If you would like more information about drought management and preparedness please follow the link below to learn about conserving your water indoors. If you want to find information about other disaster situations please view our Disaster Management section.