Outside the Home

The greatest misuse of water outdoors is to wash driveways, sidewalks, and gutters with a hose. The only commercially available product that eliminates this type of waste is a push broom. Lawn sprinkling and landscape irrigation often consume two to three times more water than is used indoors.

  • Water the lawn only when it needs it; if the grass springs back when you step on it, there is no need to water.
  • Water the lawn during the morning or evening to minimize evaporation. Do not water the lawn when there is a chance of rain or on windy days.
  • Infrequent, but heavy watering encourages the plant to develop a deep root system. Lawns only need about 1 inch of water per week in spring and fall, and 1 1/2 inches per week in summer.
  • Consider installing an underground sprinkler system. Sprinkler systems are a very efficient way to water your lawn. Adjust the sprinkler heads to water the lawn and not the sidewalk, driveway, or porch.
  • Landscape your lawn with native drought-resistant trees and plants. Place mulch around them to help retain moisture.
  • Raise mowing height to 2 1/2 inches from June 15 to August 30; avoid fertilizing in July and August, and aerate lawns in April and/or September to minimize compaction and improve rooting.
  • Wash your cars with a bucket of soapy water, and only use the hose for rinsing or take your car to a local car wash that recycles water.
  • Use a broom instead of the hose to clean paved driveways, sidewalks, and patios.