1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. Step on your grass. If it springs back, when you lift your foot, it doesn’t need water. If you leave footprints, it’s time to water. Use a screwdriver as a soil probe to test soil moisture. So set your sprinklers for more days in between watering. Saves 750-1,500 gallons per month. Better yet, especially in times of drought, water with a hose. And best of all, convert your lawn to native plants.
2. Don’t run the hose while washing your car. Use a bucket of water and a quick hose rinse at the end. Saves 150 gallons each time. For a two-car family that’s up to 1,200 gallons a month. When washing your car, drive it onto a lawn so the run-off water can replenish the grass.
3. Don’t water the sidewalks, driveway or gutter. Adjust your sprinklers so that water lands on your lawn or garden where it belongs–and only there. Saves 500 gallons per month.
4. Water during the cool parts of the day. Early morning is better than dusk since it helps prevent the growth of fungus. Saves 300 gallons.
5. Don’t water the lawn on windy days. There’s too much evaporation. Can waste up to 300 gallons in one watering.
6. Try to add more days between watering. Allowing your lawn to dry out between watering creates deeper roots and allows you to water deeper and less often.
7. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants. Chunks of bark, peat moss or gravel slows down evaporation. Saves 750 to 1,500 gallons a month.
8. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation. It will also keep your pool cleaner and reduce the need to add chemicals. Use a grease pencil to mark the water level of your pool at the skimmer. Check the mark 24 hours later. Your pool should lose no more than 1/4 inch each day. Saves 1,000 gallons a month.
9. Set your lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation. Saves 500 to 1,500 gallons each month.
10. Plant during the spring or fall when the watering requirements are lower.