Water Education Foundation

Water Conservation Tips

Posted by: Aquafornia on June 20, 2007 at 5:15 pm


1. Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you step on it and it springs back after you lift your foot, it doesn't need water. Set your sprinklers for more days in between watering.

2. Adjust your sprinklers so that the water lands on the lawn or garden where it belongs : and only there.

3. Water during the cool parts of the day. Do not water between 10am and 6pm to minimize evaporation. Early morning is better than dusk : watering at dusk can lead to growth of fungus.

4. Water your landscape in cycles by reducing the number of minutes on your timer and using multiple start times spaced one hour apart. This allows the water to soak into the soil and avoids runoff.

5. Don't water the lawn on windy days as there is too much evaporation.

6. Cut down on watering on cool and overcast days and don't water in the rain. Adjust or deactivate automatic sprinklers. Turn them back on only when needed.

7. Consider installing a smart sprinkler system with an automatic rain shutoff device.

8. Aerate your lawn by punching small holes in it about 6 inches apart. This will allow water to penetrate to the roots and lessen runoff.

9. Install drip irrigation systems for trees, shrubs and flowers.

10. Set lawn mover blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation.

11. Replace your lawn and thirsty plants with less thirsty ones. Consider drought-tolerant plants in areas that are hard to water or receive little use.

12. Apply as little fertilizer to your lawn as possible. Applying excess fertilizer increases water consumption and creates more mowing for you.

13. Water brown spots by hand instead of increasing the time on the sprinklers. Remember, too, that not all brown spots are from lack of water. The problem could be grubs that feed on the root system and kill it. Contact a local nursery professional.

14. Visually inspect your sprinkler system once a month during daylight hours.

15. Don't run the hose when washing your car. Use a spray stopper, a bucket, and give it a quick rinse at the end.

16. Use a broom instead of a hose to clean driveways & sidewalks.

17. Put a layer of mulch around trees and plants to slow down evaporation.

18. If you have a pool, use a pool cover to cut down on evaporation.

19. Dispose of hazardous waste properly. One quart of oil washed down the gutters can contaminate 250,000 gallons of water, eliminating that much from the water supply.


1. Fix leaky faucets and plumbing joints.

2. Install water-saving showerheads or flow restrictors.

3. Take shorter showers. Even a 1 to 2 minute reduction can save up to 700 gallons per month.

4. When taking a bath, start filling the tub with the drain already plugged instead of waiting first for the water to get warm. Adjust the temperature as the tub begins to fill.

5. Run only full loads in the washing machine & dishwasher.

6. Consider replacing older washing machines and dishwashers with new, water-efficient models. Check with your local water supplier to see if any rebates are available.

7. Don't use your toilet as an ashtray or wastebasket; throw it away instead.

8. Capture the water while waiting for hot water to come down the pipes, and use this water for plants or your garden.

9. Put a plastic bottle or plastic bag weighted with pebbles and filled with water in your toilet tank to displace water and use less water per flush.

10. Check your toilet for leaks by putting dye tablets or food coloring in the tank. If color appears in the bowl without flushing, there's a leak that should be repaired.

11. Check to assure that your toilet's flapper valve doesn't stay open after flushing.

12. Turn off the water while brushing your teeth & while shaving.

13. If you wash dishes by hand, don't let the water run continuously for rinsing. Use a sprayer to rinse, or rinse all the soapy dishes at once. Or, fill a second sink with rinse water and use that instead.

14. When washing dishes by hand, use the least amount of detergent possible; this will minimize the amount of water needed for rinsing.

15. Keep a bottle of drinking water in the refrigerator, instead of letting the tap water run to cool it for drinking.

16. Select one glass to use for drinking each day. It will take your dishwasher longer to fill up, and it will not need to be used as frequently.

17. Let your pots and pans soak instead of letting water run while you clean them.

18. Consider purchasing an instant water heater for your kitchen sink so you don't waste water waiting for hot water to come down the pipes.

19. Don't defrost frozen foods with running water; plan ahead by placing frozen items in the refrigerator the night before, or use a microwave to defrost them.

20. Don't let the faucet run while you clean vegetables. Rinse them in a filled sink or pan, and use this water for watering your garden or houseplants.

21. Use the garbage disposal less. Consider composting.

22. Install aerators on every faucet.

23. Insulate your water pipes. You'll get hot water faster plus avoid wasting water while waiting for hot water to come down the pipes.

To learn how to determine proper watering for outdoor plants and to adjust your sprinkler system, visit: http://wateruseitwisely.com/waterguide/index.shtml

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