10 Tips for Outdoor Water Conservation | Regional Water Providers Consortium

10 Tips for Outdoor Water Conservation

10 tips to save water outdoors

During the warm summer months, we in the Portland metro area spend time outdoors tending to our lawns, growing our gardens, washing our cars — all activities that depend on water. As a result, water usage can increase significantly.

Looking for tips to save water all year? Check out 10 Tips to Save Water Indoors.


Here are 10 ways to curb your water use while still maintaining a green and vibrant landscape.

  1. Adjust your sprinklers so that they’re watering your lawn and garden, and not the street or sidewalk. 
  2. Water early in the morning (before 10:00) or later in the evening (after 6:00) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
  3. Set it, but don’t forget it! Whether you have a manual or automatic system, be sure to adjust your watering schedules throughout the irrigation season. 
  4. Water established lawns about 1 inch per week (a bit more during hot, dry weather). Find out how much to water this week with the Weekly Watering Number.
  5. Inspect your irrigation system for leaks, broken lines, or blockage in the lines. A well-maintained system will save you money, water, and time. 
  6. Consider replacing some turf area with low water use plants and ornamental grasses. They are easier to maintain than turf, look beautiful, and require far less water.
  7. Group plants with like watering needs. Creating “watering zones” in your garden will allow you to give each plant the water it requires — not too much or too little.
  8. Add a shut-off nozzle to your garden hose and save about 5-7 gallons each minute your hose is on.
  9. Adjust your mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.
  10. Apply the amount of water your soil can absorb. Water thoroughly, but infrequently. If run off or puddling occurs, break longer watering sessions into several short sessions allowing water to soak into the soil between each session.