According to Irvine Ranch Water District, “Up to 60percent of your home’s total water usage is used outdoors.” Use these tips to conserve water, while maintaining your landscape and protecting your home’s property value.

1. Water early in the morning or later in the evening when temperatures are cooler. Save 25 gallons per day. 

2. Choose a water-efficient irrigation system, such as drip irrigation for your trees, flowers and shrubs. In turf areas, upgrade your sprinklers to water efficient multi-stream nozzles. Check with your local water agency to see if there is a rebate available for the rotating sprinkler heads. Save 15 gallons each time you water. 

3. Maintain your irrigation system. Check your sprinkler system frequently for leaks, and adjust nozzles so only your lawn is being watered, and not the house, sidewalk, or street. A well functioning irrigation system can save 500 gallons per month.

4.  Water deeply, but less frequently to create healthier and stronger landscapes. Reducing the time you water and increasing the cycles, prevents over watering and run-off.  Save 12-15 gallons each time you water.

5. Monitor the performance of your landscape and adjust the run times up or down accordingly. If your lawn does not spring back when stepped on, its time to water. Be sure to turn off your irrigation system when it rains, and depending on rainfall, wait to restart.  Water only when necessary. Save 1,100 gallons per irrigation cycle. 

6. Consider investing in a weather-based smart controller. These devices will automatically adjust the watering schedule based on soil moisture, rain, wind and evaporation, and transpiration rates. Check with your local water agency to see if there is a rebate available for the purchase of a smart controller. Save 40 gallons per day. 

7. Replace your lawn with drought-resistant trees and plants. These plants are well suited for California’s mild winters and dry summers. The are low maintenance, use less water and don’t require soil preparation or fertilizing. Remember to contact your association and obtain prior architectural approval, if necessary. Check your local water agency to see if there are turf removal rebates available. Save 30 – 60 gallons each time you water 1,000 sq. ft. 

8. Plant the right plants for your climate. Use the SAVE OUR WATER-WISE GARDEN TOOL to learn what plants and flowers will work best in your neighborhood.

9. Put a layer of mulch around tree and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soil cool. Organic mulch also improves the soil and prevents weeds. Save 20-30 gallons each time you water per 1,000 sq. ft. 

10. Avoid using water for outdoor clean-up. Use a broom to clean driveways, sidewalks, and patios. Wash cars with a bucket, sponge, and hose with self-closing nozzle. Save 8-19 gallons per minute.