Simple strategies can keep summer water use in check
Summertime spells rising temperatures and increased water usage, from cleaning cars to irrigating lawns.
In fact, use for such activities during the warmer months of the year can quadruple. Unfortunately, experts estimate that 50 percent of outdoor water use goes to waste from evaporation, wind or runoff due to overwatering, according to conservation firm WaterSignal.
Below are six tips to help keep water use under control this summer:
Timing is everything
To prevent overwatering with sprinklers, know beforehand how much water plants, shrubs and lawns need. This, of course, will vary based on types and locale.
Watering in the morning or early evening is considered the best times of day, as that’s when the least amount of water is lost due to evaporation by the sun.
Tune up your system
Inspections of water systems and devices should be conducted regularly to ensure they function properly and that they’re not wasting water by spraying it on sidewalks, streets or driveways.
Separate plants into zones
Plants have different water demands. Those requiring larger amounts can soak up water meant for nearby smaller greenery or, due to too many plants in a single location, not get enough.
Consider divvying plants with similar water and light demands into zones. Doing so helps avoid overwatering some areas or under-watering others.
Step on it
Grass doesn’t always need water. If blades of grass spring when walked upon, it’s not parched. Soil sensors can also show moisture levels at the plant’s roots and discourage overwatering.
Leave it long
Raising the lawn mower blade leaves grass longer and promotes deeper root growth. The result: a more drought-resistant lawn.
Employ some elbow grease
Sweep driveways, sidewalks and steps instead of hosing them off.