- Follow the weekly lawn watering guide and find out how many times per week you should water according to conditions for your county. The guide takes extensive data and simplifies it into how many days per week to water in each county. (Microclimates may require adjustments to your watering schedule.)
- Install a water-saving smart irrigation controller and qualify for a money-saving rebate. Smart irrigation controllers take the guesswork out of how often and how long to water. These devices connect to WiFi and access weather data and adjust the watering schedule to account for rain, temperature, humidity, UV index and even evapotranspiration.
- Don’t water when it’s windy or raining.
- Don’t water between 10 a.m.- 6 p.m. (Or 8 a.m.-8 p.m. in Southern Utah.) The one and ONLY exception to this rule: If it’s windy every night, pick a time that’s less windy (even if it’s during the day). You could save more water by watering during the day because the loss to wind can be more than evaporation so make adjustments as needed.
- Place a rain gauge in your backyard to monitor rainfall and irrigation.
- Prioritize your watering to water the most valuable plants in your landscape first: Trees, shrubs, perennials, annuals then grass. Grass is the toughest and will enter dormancy during times of drought and high temperatures and recover when conditions improve.
- Mow your lawn higher. Set blades to 3-4 inches. Taller grass means deeper roots that can access water that is deeper in the soil. Tall grass also shades roots and soil to reduce evaporation loss.
- Remove grass from park strips and convert lawn that is rarely used to drought-tolerant and Utah native plants. Waterwise examples are found at Localscapes.com.
- Fix broken sprinkler heads and adjust them to water plants not pavement.
- Check outdoor faucets, pipes, hoses and pools for leaks.
- Apply as little fertilizer to your lawn as possible. Applying excess fertilizer increases water consumption and actually creates more mowing for you! Use iron-based fertilizers to simply “green up” your lawn instead.
- Water your lawn only when it needs it. If you leave footprints on the grass, it is usually time to water.
- Sweep driveways and sidewalks with a broom instead of spraying with a hose.
- Cover your pool when not in use and avoid overfilling the pool. If you keep the water level 3-4 inches below the fill level it will reduce the amount of water lost due to splashing. Also, during drought, be sure to call the city or county you live in to check local requirements as well as your local water provider regarding water pricing. In general, water cost increases with higher usage and depending on the size of your pool, you may be charged at a higher than normal rate.
For more information on outdoor watering check out the Residential Lawn Watering Guide