water Program

Water Saving Tips: Outdoors

Water use can be direct – turning on a tap – and indirect – the water it takes to produce the goods and services you buy, use and consume every day. If you water a lawn or have an uncovered pool, your direct water use can be significant.

Take our Water Footprint Calculator to find out how much water you use directly and indirectly each day. We offer lots of tips and advice for lowering your water use. Read on to learn how to save water outside.

Lawns and Gardens

  • To reduce evaporation, water your lawn during the cool parts of the day, like in the early morning or late evening, and don’t water the lawn on windy days.
  • Set up your sprinklers so they're not spraying the sidewalk or driveway make sure to turn them off on days when rain is expected, and get a rain sensor if you have automatic sprinklers.
  • Use a drip irrigation system instead of a hose or sprinkler to water your garden, and hand-water your lawn or garden instead of using sprinklers when possible - you'll cut your water use in half.
  • Set lawn mower blades one notch higher. Longer grass means less evaporation.
  • Direct the water drain line from your air conditioner to a flower bed, tree base or onto your lawn.
  • Better yet, use a rainwater collector (rain barrel) to collect precipitation. You could save, on average, 4 gallons each day and you can use that water on your garden or houseplants.
  • Xeriscape! Plant native species that don’t require additional watering around your house. Grassy lawns make sense in wet climates, but in dry areas like the south and southwest they're huge water-wasters.

Swimming Pools and Summer Fun

  • Use a pool cover - you'll save a thousand gallons of water from evaporating each month.
  • Keep your pool water cool to reduce evaporation, and keep the water level low to reduce the amount of water lost to splashing.
  • Check your pool for leaks often, and if you find a leak get it fixed as soon as possible.
  • If your family wants to play with the hose or the sprinkler, make sure they do it in a dry part of the lawn that can use the water, and avoid buying water toys that require a constant stream of water.

Washing Your Car

  • Only give your business to car wash establishments that conserve and recycle their wash water.
  • Don’t leave the hose running when you wash your vehicle. Purchase a squeeze (pistol grip) nozzle for your hose so you don’t have to turn the tap to start and stop the flow.
  • Drive your car onto your lawn when you wash it by hand - you'll irrigate your lawn and get two jobs done at once!

Learn more about saving water in other areas of your home.