10 Tips for Water Conservation

Southern California is entering its 4th consecutive year of drought conditions. These 10 tips can ensure the maximum efficiency of water usage. The original article can be found in the Rancho Santa Fe Connector, a private newsletter serving residents of the Rancho Santa Fe area.
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Did you know that up to 70% of residential water use is applied outdoors? Some regional Water Districts have been increasing water rates at an alarming rate. Depending on your Water District, you may be required to water on certain days of the week, and your rate can go up if you use more than your average monthly allotment.

The most effective way to improve water usage is by limiting landscape irrigation. These restrictions and rate increases can be mitigated with the implementation of the following tips to help ensure the maximum efficiency fo water usage.

  1. Irrigation System Evaluation―A professional irrigation evaluation helps to measure how efficient the irrigation system is working.
  2. Aeration of the Lawn―Aeration is the process of perforating the lawn to alleviate soil compaction. It allows more water and nutrients to penetrate the grass-roots for a more robust lawn.
  3. Mulching Planters―A dense layer of mulch in the planters, prevents evaporation, holds moisture, protects against freezes, and controls weeds.
  4. Proper Plant Selection―Properly choosing plants and location is vital to water conservation. Drought tolerant plants survive longer periods without watering. Group plants based on similar water needs.
  5. Smart Controllers―Weather control sensor clocks adjust on a daily basis for local weather conditions, eliminating over watering. These controllers will also shut off during periods of rain.
  6. Routine Inspections―Broken valves or valves not closing properly can cause constant flowing of water when the irrigation system is turned off. mold and algae on the ground is a good indication of running water.
  7. Drip Irrigation―A Drip System is a great way to apply water directly to the plants’ roots―great application for individual trees, flower beds and non-grassy areas. It mitigates water runoff and watering non-planted areas.
  8. Water Schedule―The best time to water is before 7am. Cool temperatures and low winds allow less evaporation and better soil saturation.
  9. Renovation―Renovation irrigation to low flow, high-efficiency irrigation allowing irrigation water to absorb into the soil better, mitigating water runoff to drains and landscape.
  10. Hire a Professional―A professional is knowledgeable on proper design, water management, installation, and maintenance.