Information on Outdoor Water Conservation
This water usage comes to almost nine billion gallons of water each day.
With the typical household in America consuming about 320 gallons of water every day, there's plenty of room for implementing water conservation practices at home. About 30 percent of water consumption is used for outdoor purposes, much of which goes to watering gardens and lawns. In fact, across the United States, outdoor irrigation for the landscape makes up almost one-third of the total amount of residential water consumption.
Why Save Water Outdoors?
How Americans use water depends on where they live. Those who live in desert regions, including the southwestern states, might use the majority of their total residential water consumption for outdoor irrigation. Generally, daily irrigation of grass is unnecessary and there are many tips to conserving water outdoors. For example, it's important to choose landscape plants that are native to a growing area. Doing so will eliminate the need for a lot of supplementary irrigation. Instead, these plants will tolerate less water, continuing to thrive, because they're able to grow without water beyond the typical rainfall amounts. When choosing plants at your local nursery, talk to a professional to learn important outdoor conservation tips and how to water your property more efficiently. For a lawn, it's possible to test the need for watering. If grass springs back after stepping on it, it does not need watering. It's also important to realize that up to 50 percent of water applied to outdoor landscapes is wasted as it evaporates or runs off due to inefficient irrigation methods; Capture runoff and reuse it for watering.
Stop Water Waste (PDF) - Over the course of one day, a faucet that drips five drops of water in 30 seconds will waste almost one gallon of water.
Water Conservation Tips - If you want to use an ornamental water fountain outdoors, make sure the unit recycles the water, and install the fountain in a place where water loss will be minimized from evaporation and wind drift.
Why Conserve Water? - Conserving water not only saves this natural resource, it saves energy, too.
Outdoor Water-Saving Recommendations - To be a more efficient homeowner, use any of these tips and suggestions. Depending on your service provider, you may also be able to find rebates.
How to Reduce Your Outdoor Water Use
Saving water indoors and outdoors can be surprisingly easy with only a few changes in how and when you use water. When a lawn or garden needs water, make sure you are watering economically. Make sure you water long enough to deep soak it so the water soaks down to the roots. This will water more effectively so you can water less often; this is especially important in areas that suffer drought conditions. Always water during the coolest times of the day and make sure you position sprinklers carefully so all water is directed onto landscaped areas and not onto the pavement. Those with a vegetable garden and a pool on their property can also practice water conservation to cut back on their usage.
Landscape Irrigation - Options for landscape irrigation include manual watering or in-ground irrigation that happens according to a schedule.
Outdoor Water Use in the United States - Maintain your outdoor irrigation system regularly to keep it operating efficiently and to use as little water as possible.
Ways Water is Wasted Outdoors
There are many ways to take care of our lawns and yards more efficiently. For example, make sure when you do water outdoors that your watering efforts aren't wasted. Always check the soil before you water to make sure that irrigation is necessary. If the top two to three inches of soil feel moist, delay watering. If you use soaker hoses, point the holes face down to prevent evaporation. If you have flower beds and gardens, apply a layer of mulch over the soil to help retain moisture.
25 Things You Can Do to Prevent Water Waste - Don't let kids play with hoses outdoors.
Water Conservation Tips - Save dishwater and reuse it to water indoor and outdoor plants.
Important Steps to Saving Water - Indoors and outdoors, there are important steps that you can put in place to conserve more water and live more efficiently.
Water Conservation Ideas for Indoors and Outdoors
Choosing native plants is an important way to conserve water. If you live in a dry region, choose plants that are drought-tolerant and resistant so you won't have to add supplemental irrigation.
Collect rainwater and use it to irrigate outdoor plants when necessary.
Saving Water Makes Good Sense - The average American uses more than 10 gallons of water each day from faucets.
Indoors, make sure you only run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads.
Reduce the length of showers.
How Much Water Do You Use in Your Home? - An average bathtub will hold about 36 gallons of water.
Don't keep the water running while brushing teeth and shaving.
Fix all plumbing leaks promptly.
Additional Water Conservation Tips
Replace old toilets with newer, efficient models that use less water.
Install faucet aerators on taps.
Start saving water run at the sink to rinse vegetables and fruit, and use it to water both indoor and outdoor plants. You can also save water used to cook vegetables, cooling it and then watering garden plants with it.
Seven Steps to a Water Saving Garden - Enhance your soil with peat moss or compost to help it retain more moisture.
When you do water outdoor plants, direct the water onto the roots for most efficient watering.
If you wash the car, park it on the lawn, and turn off the hose while you scrub the car.