OUTDOOR CONSERVATION TIP
During the growing season water use can increase by 50%.
Find out how much water your lawn really needs. While lawns require a lot of water, much of this water is wasted - lost due to over watering and evaporation. As a general rule, most lawns/gardens require little more than 2 to 3 cm (1 inch) of water per week. A good test is to place a salmon or tuna can under your sprinkler. When it is full, you have watered enough.
See the tips in this fun video below from Okanagan Water Wise!
Mow grass as little as possible and higher than normal. Mowing puts grass under stress making it require more water. Longer leaf surfaces promote deeper rooting and shade the root zone. Never remove more than 1/3 of the leaf blade in one mowing.
Keep lawn and flower beds free of weeds. They rob your lawn and plants of water.
Return mulched clippings to the lawn. Mulching reduces evaporation.
Consider low-maintenance landscaping, which requires not much more water than nature provides. Called xeriscaping, the principles include reducing the amount of lawn, making use of native grasses, shrubs and trees and mulching. Some plants requiring little water are shown at the left.
Water early in the morning (after the dew has dried) or later at night to reduce loses due to evaporation.
Don't water the pavement and avoid watering when windy. Make sure sprinklers only hit the lawn or garden and stop when runoff or puddles occur. Consider a mulch, bark, or rock area at least 8 inches wide adjacent to sidewalks and curbs. Wind causes water to evaporate quickly and blows water onto areas where it is not needed.
Sprinklers that lay water down in a flat pattern are better than oscillating sprinklers, which lose as much as 50% through evaporation.
Use shut-off nozzles on hoses - turn off the water when you are not using it.
Drip irrigation systems, which apply water only to the roots zone are the most efficient and work well around trees and shrubs. They permit water to flow slowly to roots, encouraging strong root systems and cut down evaporation.
Automatic Irrigation Systems can be set to water the lawn for a specified amount of time and can be adjusted according to the weather. This saves your time and waters the lawn evenly and efficiently. The District has provisions in place to increase your water allotment under certain conditions. Information and applications can be obtained at the District office.
Check for leaks in pipes, hoses, and faucets. Repair or replace any equipment leaking water.
Collect Rainwater. Any sloping surface such as a driveway and roofs are great sources to catch rainwater. Statistics say 1,000 square feet of roof or pavement can collect 420 gallons of water from 1 inch of rain. Store the collected water in a plastic or metal garbage can and siphon it off to water your garden.
When washing a car, fill a bucket with water and use a sponge. This saves about 300 liters of water.
Use a broom to clean the driveway and sidewalk. Sweeping the driveway and sidewalk will get them clean enough without wasting gallons of water.
Cover your swimming pool and recycle your pool water. .Covering a swimming pool will help reduce evaporation. A pool cover can cut the loss by up to 90%.