Outdoor Water Conservation | Regional Water Providers Consortium

Outdoor Water Conservation

Water-efficient landscaping takes a simple, holistic approach to every step of creating a yard that looks beautiful and saves water. Incorporate seven basic steps from planning and design to long-term maintenance to achieve maximum water savings.


1. Planning and Design

The planning and design of your landscape is one of the most important steps, whether you’re starting from scratch or updating an existing landscape.  Choose native, waterwise plants and set yourself up for efficient watering.


2. Compost and Cultivate

Healthy soil is the foundation of water-efficient landscaping. Productive soil provides physical support, water, oxygen, and nutrients to both plants and soil-dwelling organisms. Learn about soil amendments and get healthy soil tips for your landscape.


3.Create Functional Turf Area

Grass needs more water and maintenance than most other plants, so make sure your lawn is practical, functional, multipurpose, and water-efficient. Whether you want to learn how to make your lawn water-efficient or you’re ready to rip it out and start from scratch, start with these tips and resources


4. The Right Plant in the Right Place

Different plants need different amounts of water, sun, and shade to survive. Grouping plants with similar needs will help them thrive, plus your landscape will be easier to water. Start with waterwise plant resources and tips on how to create watering zones and then learn how to water any type of landscape efficiently.


5. Water Wisely

The greatest waste of water is watering too much, too often. Not only is overwatering wasteful, it can also damage your plants and soil. Water your grass, garden, or landscape based on your site conditions and your plants’ water needs. Use the Weekly Watering Number  from April to October to get weekly recommendations based on local weather conditions in your zip code.


6. The Use of Mulch

Soil amendments, such as mulch and compost , are key to transforming clay or sandy loam soil. Organic mulches are the best choice to cover and cool your soil.


7. Keep Up the Maintenance

Routine maintenance will keep your plants healthy, making your landscape more resistant to summer heat, winter freezes, pests, and disease. Incorporate these four easy ways to maintain your landscape:

  1. Aerate your lawn annually. This will promote root growth and oxygen and water absorption.
  2. Weed frequently by hoeing or pulling them by hand. Weeds compete with plants for nutrients, light, and water.
  3. Adjust your mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps keep soil moisture so your lawn requires less water.
  4. Check your irrigation system for leaks, broken lines, and damaged sprinkler heads. A well-maintained system will save you money, water, and time.