How to Reduce Outdoor Water Usage

Don Parsons, Sales Manager, Bank of Canton, Marshfield Office

With so much focus on water-efficient fixtures and appliances, it can be easy to forget how much water is used in yards and gardens. According to estimates from the Environmental Protection Agency, landscape irrigation accounts for nearly one-third of all residential water use – or nine billion gallons per day. Conserve water (and save money on monthly bills) with these tips:

  • Go with native plants, which have adapted to an area’s normal rainfall, climate, and soil – and require less water than non-native species. Nature.com and H2ouse.orgcan provide information on the best plants for a particular area.
  • Take good care of the soil. Adding organic matter can help it retain moisture. Mulching around plants is another great way to reduce water loss. Try natural mulches, like compost, bark chips, and pine needles – or save money by using grass clippings or ground-up leaves.
  • Morning is the best time to water the lawn and plants, since less is lost to evaporation from wind and heat. Watering in the evening can encourage fungus and mildew growth.
  • Keep grass height high to shade roots and slow water evaporation. Also, conduct the ‘step test’ to see if a lawn requires watering: after stepping on the grass, if the blades don’t spring back right away, water is needed.
  • When using a traditional garden hose and nozzle, too much water can be lost as mist and runoff. Instead, use a soaker hose or a sprinkler wand. Both can be purchased at hardware stores.

When it comes to water conservation, even small adjustments to lawn and gardening routines can make a big impact. These tips will help to reduce daily water usage.

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