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We don’t typically give much thought to how we can conserve water, particularly when we use well water and don’t receive a monthly bill for our water use. Despite the Earth being covered in it, fresh water is a finite resource and one that is dwindling every day. Throughout the year, but particularly during the month of April we like to take the time to remind everyone of his or her responsibility for conserving this finite natural resource. It’s important to realize that more than half of residential water use occurs outdoors. Small changes in outdoor water use could have a massive impact on the amount of water that you conserve. Here are some outdoor tips for conserving water in your yard.

Timing is important.

Be sure to schedule your watering in the early morning to minimize evaporation that happens when the sun is at its highest. This will ensure that no water is lost and your lawn remains lush and green, requiring less watering and getting the most from each morning watering.

Measure how much water your lawn is getting.

Because optimal watering hours occur in the very early morning before many have woken up for the day, it’s important that you understand exactly how much water your lawn is getting. By placing empty soup cans throughout your lawn and checking them when the sprinklers have finished, you can determine exactly how much water your lawn is getting. Lawns only need .5 to .75 of an inch of water in a single watering. If your cans collect more than this, you can adjust the timing of your sprinklers so that they run for less time.

Purchase more efficient lawn watering equipment.

While new equipment can be costly, it will yield dividends for the environment and for your wallet. Make sure that you install water efficient sprinklers and take care that they’re watering only your lawn and not the surrounding walkways and roads. Be sure to install low-volume soaker hoses and drip irrigation for planting beds.

Install an automatic timer.

iStock_000016800994_SmallBe sure to install an automatic time on your sprinklers, or set a reminder on your mobile device to turn off your sprinklers so that they’re not running unnecessarily. A watering hose can waste as much as 600 gallons of water in just one of of being left on.

Consider septic.

While it may seem like a big change, septic systems offer hidden benefits to water conservation. With the proper design, you can treat wastewater from your home and water your yard at the same time. You will also help recharge the surficial aquifer by replenishing the ground water with the water that is not used for evapotranspiration of the plant life.

Water conservation shouldn’t just be a once-a-year effort. It’s our job to ensure the longevity of this precious natural resource by watching our water consumption in every aspect of our lives. Make sure to utilize these tips when watering your lawn so that no water is wasted and your equipment is as efficient as possible.

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