Outdoor water use
Most Californians think that they use more water indoors than outdoors. Typically, the opposite is true. In some areas, 50 percent or more of the water we use daily goes on lawns and outdoor landscaping. There are lots of ways to save water at home, but reducing the water you use outdoors can make the biggest difference of all. Here are a few easy ways to change the way you use water outside your home.
Know the basics:
- Check your sprinkler system frequently and adjust sprinklers so only your lawn is watered and not the house, sidewalk or street. Save: up to 15 gallons each time you water
- Choose a water-efficient irrigation system such as drip irrigation for your trees, shrubs, and flowers. Save: 15 gallons each time you water.
- Consider letting your lawn fade from green to gold during this extreme drought.
- Prioritize keeping trees and shrubs alive.
- Water deeply but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes.
- 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. Save: 20 to 30 gallons each time you water 1,000 square feet.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Save: 30 to 60 gallons each time you water 1,000 square feet.
One easy way to cut down how much water you use outdoors is to learn how much water your landscaping actually needs in order to thrive. Overwatering is one of the most common mistakes people make. To understand how much water your landscaping really needs, learn more about evaporation transpiration visit California Irrigation Management Systems website.
Also check with the Calaveras Master Gardeners for a free consultation. They are trained experts on drought-resistant plants and how to use water wisely. Contact them at 754-2880 or visit Calaveras County Master Gardeners.
If you really want to be a sophisticated water user, 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. For more information on sprinklers, visit Save Our Water Sprinklers 101.
Water is often a go-to tool for outdoor clean-up jobs.
- Use a broom or blower to clean driveways, sidewalks and patios. Save: 8 to 18 gallons per minute.
- Wash cars and boats with a bucket, sponge and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save: 8 to 18 gallons per minute.