Five Tips to Outdoor Water Conservation

The summer months bring several things: green lawns, sunny days, and above all, a higher consumption of water. When it comes to summer everybody loves to be outdoors, especially when it involves cooling off with water. However, since water is used so readily during the summer a vast majority is wasted. With many states battling drought conditions and lacking readily available water, water should be saved rather than wasted, especially during the warmest season of the year. Here are five simple tips to save water during the summer.

Be timely when watering. The optimum time for watering lawns is between 6:00 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. This will allow the most water to be received by the lawn since it is typically the coolest and least windy part of the day.

Wind can play a major factor on how much is applied to the lawn. Pick less windy days to water your lawn to ensure water use efficiency.

Do not use too much. Overwatering can cause problems for lawns. According to Water Use It Wisely, the recommended summer watering schedule is once every three days. In drought conditions, it may be less depending on the specific city ordinance. If it has been raining, do not water.

According to All About Lawns, a ‘squish’ feel, wilted appearance, fungus growing or excessive runoff are all signs that the lawn is being overwatered.

Accurate sprinklers eliminate waste.  It is important to make sure sprinkler heads are working properly and accurately. According to EPA WaterSense®, a sprinkler head that is broken or pointed the wrong direction can waste 50 percent or more water than one that is working properly.

The best way to test the sprinkler for accuracy is to put a gauge—or something simple like an empty tuna can—under the sprinkler head and measure the water output. According to Scott’s Lawn Library, an average lawn should get half an inch of water at each watering, so this is a good way to test the amount of time it takes to reach water-holding capacity too.

Furthermore, it is important to water only the surface of the lawn. If the sprinkler is watering sidewalks, streets, patios, etc. it should be readjusted.

Use water for recreation as dual purpose.  If the sprinklers are being used to let children cool off on a hot summer day, let them play in an area of the lawn that needs the extra water. The same principle can be applied for washing vehicles.

According to Scientific American, swimming pools lose about 1,000 gallons of water per month. Water inside an outdoor pool should be left inside the pool. According to Energy.gov placing a cover on the pool when not in use can reduce evaporation by 50 to 70 percent.

Collect rainwater. Summer months are an ideal time to collect rainwater. Rainwater can be harvested and used to water plants and the lawn. One inch of rain falling on a 1,000 square foot roof can collect about 623 gallons of water. Residents in the Lubbock area could have already collected about 9,600 gallons of water with the year to date rainfall received in 2015 (15.42 inches).

 

Summer is what seems like an endless season of fun, heat, the outdoors and water. Water is used increasingly outside for lawn upkeep, recreation and basic necessity. However, without proper care, water can be easily wasted. It is important with the heat and drought conditions to conserve the precious resource and everyone must do their part.