Water Conservation

Best Management Practices

Only four of the estimated 100 gallons of water used per person daily is actually necessary, according to the Chesapeake Bay Program and the Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay. The EPA stresses that water usage in the home can be reduced by as much as 20 percent by implementing water conservation practices. These best management practices, recommended by the EPA, should translate into smaller water and sewage bills and are listed below:

  • Avoid using the garbage disposal system as much as possible.
  • Running your dishwasher and laundry machines with only full loads will decrease water usage. Also, use the shortest wash and rinse cycles at the lowest water level setting possible. Try to avoid using the permanent press cycle.
  • Take shorter showers and use a water-conserving showerhead instead of taking a bath.
  • When hand washing dishes, brushing teeth, shaving, or washing your face, do not let the water run continuously.
  • You can place two half-gallon plastic bottles filled with water into your toilet tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.

Outdoor Watering Tips

  • Water your lawn only during the coolest time of the day to avoid the evaporation of water.
  • Increase the mulch on your trees, shrubs, and other plants (2-3 inches deep, the wider the circle the better).
  • Established trees may only need watering every two weeks.
  • When watering your trees, adhere to current water use restrictions and maximize the water you apply (avoid runoff).
  • To water a tree, water the area under the canopy of the tree, not just the base of the tree.
  • Learn how to care for trees during a drought here
  • Avoid trimming and fertilizing. 
  • Check your irrigation and fix any broken, clogged, or misaligned heads.
  • Check your irrigation to see how much you should water by visit www.watermyyard.org (there’s an app!)
  • To water your foundation, put a soaker hose or drip irrigation 8-18 inches from your foundation and water until the area is saturated to a depth of 8-10 inches

Will your lawn survive if you only water two days per week?

Yes! Dr. Becky Bowling, Urban Water Specialist and turfgrass expert at the Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Center in Dallas, explains why watering your lawn two days per week or less is better for your lawn! This short video clip is from her longer presentation, "Lawn Care Basics for North Texas," which can be viewed here.

You should also check your sprinkler system for broken heads, spraying of hard surfaces, obstructing plants, misting, and more. Check out this video with Dean Minchillo, of the Texas A&M AgriLife Center in Dallas, to learn how to fix these issues and how to water effectively. 

New Home Irrigation Info Sheet