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10 Ways to Save Water -- and Save Money -- Outdoors This Summer

These outdoor water conservation tips will help you save water -- and money -- in the harsh summer h...

When you’re thinking about saving water and sticking to your budget this summer, keep this fact in mind: As much as 40 percent of our water usage during the warmer months goes toward keeping our lawns and gardens green. But not all of that water is actually necessary. Meaning? There’s a lot of water wasted -- and thus a lot of change thrown down the drain spout too!

But the solution to outdoor water consumption is actually pretty simple. And there are many ways in which you can cut back and have an impact. Try these 10 simple outdoor water conservation tips to cut back on your water usage this summer and save some money in the process.

No. 1: A typical spray irrigation system wastes water by spraying it into the air. Much of that sprayed water evaporates before it reaches the plants, especially in hotter temperatures. Instead, use a drip irrigation system to water container gardens, trees and shrubs.

No. 2: Install a rain sensor on your sprinkler system, which ensures it won’t turn on unnecessarily during rainfall. Moisture sensors are great as well; they detect when dew has formed overnight so you don’t need to water the lawn as often.

No. 3: Plant native plants, which are available at most of your local plant nurseries. Native plants are generally more tolerant of the weather conditions in your area, including typical rainfall amounts, and thus require less frequent watering.

No. 4: Drippy outdoor faucets? Fix them! Even a slight leak adds up over time. Start by tightening the nut behind the faucet handle with a wrench. If this doesn’t do the trick, hit your local hardware store for more specific instructions on fixing your system.

No. 5: Purchase rain barrels (Fiskars has good, affordable options) and place them at the end of your gutters to collect rainwater. Use the collected water to hydrate your plants, wash the car and fill birdbaths.

No. 6: Purchase a downspout extension, which will allow you to direct rainwater to the places that need it most -- instead of it just dribbling off the side of your house into a wasteful space!

No. 7: Have a pool? Use a bubble-wrap pool water cover when it’s not in use. The cover sits on top of the surface of the water and helps keep pool water from evaporating, so there’s no need to top it off as often.

pool

No. 8: Invest in some mulch! Adding a 2- or 3-inch layer of quality mulch in plant beds helps them retain moisture, thus requiring less water.

No. 9: Replace leaky hoses (Neverkink is a well-tested brand that doesn’t tangle or kink, which is the primary cause of leaks) and nozzles. Also replace the rubber washers on the connections between the hose and the house and/or between the hose and the nozzle. These easy, inexpensive fixes will save you money in the long run.

No. 10: Aim to do all your watering first thing in the morning when it’s cooler. This will ensure that less water will be lost to evaporation.

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Pool Photo:Flickr, Joey Parsons
Main Photo: Flickr, Christopher Craig


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