10 Easy Tips To Save Water This Summer

Did you know that as much as 40 percent of our water use in the spring and summer goes toward our lawns and gardens. That’s a lot of water wasted.

Your impact: The UN predicts that 3.4 billion people will be living in countries defined as water-scarce by 2025. When water is scarce, people are forced to consume contaminated water. Cleaning and producing also water requires serious amounts of energy.

Here’s How to Save:

There are several ways you can save thousands of gallons of water and hundreds of dollars a year:

1. Set up a rain barrel: Using rain barrels to water your lawn not only greatly reduces your municipal water use and the polluted runoff from your property that winds up in the watershed, it allows your plants and vegetables to drink up water that hasn’t been chemically treated.

2. Mulch:  Adding a two- to three-inch layer of organic mulch in plant beds helps them retain moisture.

3. Use native plants in your garden: Use native grasses, shrubs, and trees in landscaping. Native plants require less water, reduce runoff and flooding, help prevent soil erosion, and are easier to grow because they are adapted to local conditions.

4. Water in the morning, if you have to: Mornings are cooler, ensuring less water will be lost to evaporation. Evenings are also better times than afternoons to water; however, the leaves do not have time to dry out, increasing the chances of fungus growth.

5. Use a drip or soaker system: Sprinklers tend to water things like your sidewalk, house, or car instead of the ground. Using a drip or soaker system, especially one set up to a rain barrel, saves on water and increases the amount of water going straight to the roots.

6. Use downspout extensions: A simple roll-out downspout extension allows you to use rain water in places that need it most.

7. Get some hose helpers: No need to drag a running hose around as you water potted plants. Hose accessories such as a water wand (for hanging plants and pots), an extension handle, and a shut-off valve ensure the hose won’t pump water into places where it’s not needed.

8. Install a drip irrigation system: Drip irrigation (pictured above) targets plants directly by using a series of tubes on a timer to water each plant. They can cost a few hundred dollars to install, but are 90 percent efficient. Installed sprinkler systems are considered 75 to 85 percent efficient.

9. Create a perennial lawn: Say “no” to lawns that require excessive amounts of water and plant a native, perennial garden instead. Or in spaces that you can’t plant a garden, plant native grasses like big bluestem. These grasses can establish a deeper root system that not only requires less water but can combat weeds.

10. Let it go brown: Just because grass has turned brown doesn’t mean it’s dead. Grass tends to go dormant–or brown–in the summer months. It will go green again naturally with cooler days.

Tell us what you're thinking...


Please share your thoughts and ideas with the Who's Green community.