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Water Conservation - Now More Than Ever

 Drought-friendly planning tips 
 
 
Mulch
Mulch is one of the simplest tools for conserving soil moisture  and  reducing evaporation, hence, less watering needed.
 
Soil Type
Type of soil determines how quickly water can be absorbed without runoff. Watering more than soil can absorb causes runoff and waste. When planting, turn and cultivate the soil and add compost or fertilizer to improve moisture retention and grow healthier plants that need less water to stay strong.
 
Plant a Shade Tree 

The shade a tree casts creates natural "air-conditioning," lowering air and soil temperatures and reducing soil moisture loss. During drought, water young trees twice a week (about 5 gallons) directly with a hose or 5-gallon bucket.

 
Hydro-zoning 

Grouping plants with similar moisture needs in the same area makes it easier to make sure they get the water they need without overwatering. Schedule each individual zone in the irrigation system to account for type of sprinkler, sun or shade exposure, and soil in that section. Different zones will almost always need different watering schedules. 

 

When to Water

Watering at dusk or dawn creates the most optimal time for trees and foliage to replace the water they've lost during the day. Less water is also lost to evaporation at these times.

Aeration
Aerating lawns and around trees at least once a year also helps improve water penetration efficiency and facilitates proper circulation of air, water and nutrients within the soil.
 

Permeable Pavers

Permeable pavers allow rainwater to filter naturally down into the underlying soil to recharge valuable groundwater aquifers. They help prevent flooding and protect the quality of our water supplies by eliminating pollutant-laden runoff from entering natural waterways.
 

Green Walls

A vertical, vegetative "living wall" can be freestanding or part of a building. It can help reduce the overall temperature of the building, improve the aesthetics and can aid in water reuse, purification and retention.

 
Automation 

Replace conventional irrigation systems with drip, low-flow or micro spray and check regularly for leaks and overwatering.

 

Smart Irrigation Systems 

The new generation of "smart" irrigation systems monitor weather, soil conditions, evaporation and plant water use and automatically adjust the watering schedule. Smart systems can reduce the annual water bill by as much 30 percent by preventing water waste. Plus, many local water providers offer rebates for purchasing specific smart controllers. Here are two useful links about rebates.