Outdoor water saving tips
- Use a broom, not a hose, to clean driveways and sidewalks.
- Showering your lawn for one hour a week is all it needs. Lawns only need 2.5 cm (one inch) of water per week which should take about an hour to water. This will help produce a deeper root system which is less likely to be damaged by drought.
- Don't ignore what nature provides for free. If it rains 2.5 cm you won't need to water.
- Avoid watering on windy days.
- Don't water the gutter! Position your sprinkler so water lands on the lawn or garden, not on paved areas.
- Cut your grass higher than usual. Taller grass holds water better.
- Leave your grass clippings on the lawn. Clippings provide mulch and help retain moisture.
- Get out your gardening gloves. Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.
- Limit your fertilizer use. While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption.
- Make sure your garden hose has a nozzle that allows you to stop the flow of water.
- Use sprinklers that throw big drops. Smaller drops of water and mist often evaporate before they hit the ground.
- Water in the early morning between 4 a.m. and 7 a.m. It's better than watering at dusk and helps prevent the growth of fungus on plants.
- Mulch. Put grass clippings or wood chips around trees, shrubs and plants to help retain valuable moisture.
- Check for leaks. We're more likely to notice leaky faucets indoors, but don't forget to check outdoor faucets, pipes and hoses for leaks.
- Use a rain barrel. Save money by reducing your monthly water bill.
- Plant a rain garden.
- Leave the kiddie pool empty. Rather than filling a pool for your children to cool down in, let them play in the sprinkler while you water the lawn.
- Avoid installing water features that spray water into the air. Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation.
- Encourage your friends and neighbours to be part of a water-conscious community.
- Advocate for including bioretention areas as part of new developments.
- Give your car a sponge bath, not a shower. Clean the car with a pail of soapy water. Only use the hose to rinse off the suds.
- Update your sprinkler. Switch to a sprinkler with a timer built in or purchase a timer that can be attached directly to your faucet.
- Hydro-zone your yard and garden. Group plants with the same watering needs together to get the most out of your watering time.
- Ecoscape your yard. Consider incorporating alternatives to lawn, such as rocks, bark and other mulches, into your landscape.
- Aerate your lawn. Punch holes in your lawn about six inches apart so water will reach the roots rather than run off the surface.
- Plant drought-resistant trees and plants. Plants that are native to Alberta are adaptable to drought and cold.
Every drop counts!