Hot Midwest summers means household water consumption more than doubles. Reducing water usage will help elevate shortages and save you money. Here are some easy tips to help you conserve.
- Water early. When temperatures heat up and the sun is high in the air, water evaporation is at its peak. By watering in the morning, you ensure that more of the water you expend soaks into your lawn and garden.
- Fix drips. Leaking spigots can add up to substantial water loss if left unrepaired. Check washers and connections frequently, and repair hoses that are in need. Most repairs can be done easily and inexpensively.
- Recycle rainwater. Collecting rainwater is easier than you might expect. Find plans online or through your local city or county office for installing rain barrels or developing a cistern. These collection systems can easily recycle rainwater for use on your lawn or garden.
- Landscape mindfully. Instead of living with existing slopes in your yard, which can be difficult to irrigate and lead to runoff, consider planting ground covers or shrubs which will help keep water within the soil. Native plants will be both effective and affordable.
- Make more of your outdoor space. Lawns need more water than flower beds or shrubs, so consider beautifying your yard with more landscaped areas. And with outdoor livable spaces on trend, you might consider adding or extending a patio or deck.
- Sweep instead of spray. Instead of grabbing the hose to clean yard debris for patios and decks, grab a broom. Not only will you save water, but you’ll also give our body the gift of exercise!
- Use mulch. By applying a two-inch layer of mulch to flower beds and around shrubs, you can slow water evaporation and suppress the growth of weeds.
- Mow for the season. Did you know that the length you cut your grass should be adjusted for different seasons? In hot summer months, you may want to cut your grass shorter than in cooler months. Check to find the preferred length for your type of grass and the season.
- Sprinkle deliberately. When using sprinklers, make sure they are working properly and be deliberate about the time allotted between moving from one area to the next. Setting a timer can be a good reminder.
- Use a smarter system. If you haven’t upgraded your sprinkler system in a while, it may be time. Newer systems can offer low precipitation rate sprinklers, smart controllers and low-volume micro-irrigation, such as drip irrigation, soaker hoses, bubbler irrigation and micro-sprinklers. Many of these features can be retrofitted.
Making a few adjustments can make a big difference to your monthly utility bills and can help guarantee our water supply for many years to come.