21 Favorite Ways to Save Water

A few years ago I created a list of 100 ways to save water and with over 7 billion people on the planet now, you have to make a bigger effort to save water more than
just posting on Facebook, blogging or tweeting about it.  So in an effort to stimulate action I have pared my list of 100 down to my favorite
21. Take a look and let me know what you think.  I’m sure you have a few good ones (creative and simple) of your own and we would love to hear
about them in the comments section.

1.    To improve water conservation install a rain sensor, it turns your irrigation off when it rains.

2.    Learn about available rebate programs by checking with local or state water agencies.  Rebates help offset irrigation investments.

3.    Explore installing flowering perennial (here are 20 favorites from Sunset Magazine) plants to provide a sustainable and cost-effective replacement for seasonal color changes.

4.    Retrofit the landscape with sustainable, water-efficient landscapes and native, drought-tolerant plant materials.

5.    Practicing hydrozoning or grouping plants with similar water requirements on the same irrigation valve to reduce over-watering.

6.    Use drip irrigation for ornamental shrubs to reduce water usage.

7.    If you have run off issues with slopes reduce your run times to allow for the water to soak into the soil and increase the number of start times.

8.    Talk to your local water agency about drought tolerant plants. They often have information as well as pictures of plants for your specific area.

9.    When you drop ice in the house when you are filling a glass don’t throw the ice cube in the sink. Instead place it in one of your house plants.

10. Give your dog a bath on the lawn or other areas where the extra water will go to good use watering plants, trees or shrubs.

11. Landscapes are most over watered in the fall when your timer is still set for summer. Get out there and make those adjustments today.

12. Inspect what you expect. Take time to document your water use by recording the numbers on your water meter on a weekly basis. It just takes a small pad of paper and a pencil. As a bonus your neighbors will be wondering what you doing. If one of them is bold enough to ask, you will be able to spread the water saving news to them too.

13. You can purchase great retrofit kits to convert your sprays to drip line. This is very effective in shrub and color beds. It’s not very expensive to do and is a job for the do-it-yourselfer.

14. Install a filter in your irrigation system. Many times watering efficiency is reduced due to clogs from small grains of sand or scale. A filter will help reduce this problem and keep the efficiency of your system higher.

15. Go ahead and buy the one-gallon plant instead of the five-gallon. Go small and still be a big winner on both cost of the plant (it will catch up to the five gallon pretty fast) and water.

16. Monitor your water bill. I know some parts of the country are allowing consumers to see their water use online daily. If you can do this great. You will be able to spot leaks faster. If you can’t see your use daily, please check monthly and know big jumps in water use most often are due to breaks or leaks.

17. Commit to doing one water savings idea a day. It doesn’t sound like much, but over time we will all benefit from the savings.

18. When you mow, leave the clippings. Your turf is full of water and can also help you reduce fertilizer needs by 25 – 50%.

19. Establish a water budget, or hire someone to do this for you. This creates a standard for water use to measure against. It also helps you plan your irrigation schedule.  Here is a great tool to do this from the EPA.

20. Remember water rates are going to increase on average 10% a year across the United States. The changes you make today will create significant savings over the next five years.

21. Influence, encourage and motivate others to save water. We need to lead the change and we can do this together. Call this a water revolution or call it out of the box thinking. I like to think of it as our professional responsibility to the industry to lead the change. It’s about wanting to do what is right for the future. I hope you will accept the challenge and spread the word to all the other water users. If you enjoyed this post please consider subscribing to the blog and follow me on twitter at H2oTrends


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