So here’s a big problem: We waste a lot of water outside our homes and businesses. Watering the lawn and gardens. Washing outside. Etc. By taking some simple actions we can save water usage significantly. Yep, save money too.
Here are some thing that are easy:
- Most lawns need to be watered only an hour a week. Limit your grass watering to just that.
- If you get into a drought situation, remember that most lawn grass can survive dormant for up to 6 weeks.
- If you use an irrigation system, and these can be very efficient, make sure you install a rain sensor that tells the system when to water and when not to (as in, it’s raining!). Depending on your climate, you could save as much as 30 percent of your water usage per year.
- Always use a mulching lawnmower. The grass clippings are returned to the lawn as fertilizers and the clippings actually serve as mulch for the lawn to help it retain water in hot, sunny weather.
- Avoid watering your lawn during the heat of the day to prevent evaporation. Save water by watering in the early morning or early evening.
- Don’t hose down equipment or the driveway. Use a broom rather than water. It’s cheaper and will save water.
- Don’t use water to wash your vehicles, business or personal. Commercial car washes are more efficient with their use of water and usually have to meet strict recycling and waste quality standards. You can’t compete and you can’t do it as efficiently as they can.
Some other techniques you can try:
- Install an automatic shut-off nozzle on your garden hose to prevent waste when the water is on and the hose is not in use.
- Install a drip irrigation system for flower beds and garden. The simple investment in a drip or soaker hose can save up to 70 percent of the water you would normally use.
- Replace water intensive and needy plantings with hardier plants that can withstand dry conditions more readily. Target plants native to your region of the country that need little or no watering, not water intensive imports. Over time, a replacement of your plantings will save water.
- Stop the extensive use of fertilizers. What does this have to do with water? Best estimates are that as much as half of all fertilizers are washed into the local aquifer and then require filtering or treatment before that water can be reused. Fertilize once in the Spring and again once in the Fall.
- Use “grey water” to water plants and landscaping.
- Establish a rainwater collection system and use it for exterior watering, like for your plants and even for your lawn.
- Replace traditional grass with water friendly ground cover.
- Install a water sprinkler system. The initial expense is much lower if you are under construction. And the system will amortize itself in as little as five years. After that, it’s all savings. And you’ll be saving water that entire time.
Save water at your home or business and you’ll save money at the same time.