As one of our most precious natural resources, water needs to be used conservatively outside the home just as much as inside. There are many aspects of outdoor living that require water, so being smart about using it can ensure that you and your neighbors get what you need.
If we’re lucky enough, rainwater provides ample supply to care for our yards and landscaping. Simply set a rain collection barrel under a gutter, and use the water that you acquire to water your plants, lawn or garden.
What else can you do to conserve water outdoors? Here are a few other ideas:
Water the garden and lawn at night. Daytime heat evaporates water, so doing this activity at night gives water more time to soak in. Only water areas that need it, too.
Water deeply, less often. This method encourages plants to grow deeper roots, so you can water less frequently. Try a soaker hose, drip irrigation, or micro sprinklers, which eliminate the evaporation of water.
Dig furrows and basins. Low areas allow you to water only the roots of plants, requiring less water.
Distribute mulch on your garden. Hay, manure, leaves, wood chips, bark, and newspaper are all good choices for mulch, which help plants and trees retain moisture.
Grow longer grass, or – better yet – no grass. If you have grass, raise the height of your mower blade or let it grow longer between mowing. If you can, reduce the amount of grass and use plants or ground covers instead, which need much less water.
Put plants under big trees. Ideally, plants that thrive in the shade should be placed under big trees to prevent evaporation.
Install a timer. Inexpensive timers on your sprinkler and outdoor faucets can control the amount of water used, and help you water at the best times.
Choose drought-resistant landscaping. This setup will require less water to remain healthy and attractive.
Keep the swimming pool covered. Prevent water evaporation with this simple step, and you can avoid refilling the pool.
Switch to environmentally friendly cleansers. By using these types of products indoors, you can reuse wastewater from baths/showers to water the outdoors.
Wash the car at a car wash. These facilities use less water, and collect and filter wastewater in a safe manner.
As you can see, there are many ways that you can help preserve water supply by being mindful with your outdoor tasks. Employ some or all of these ideas today, and you might even notice your water bill growing smaller.