Green Plants and Fat Wallets: Water Conservation Tips for the Summer
By Elisa Hyder
After all the hard work during the spring, proper watering can help relieve some of summer’s challenges to a flourishing outdoor lawn and garden. However, outdoor watering can easily turn into wasted watering if not done properly. Residential outdoor water use in the United States accounts for more than 7 billion gallons of water each day, and it is estimated that up to 50% of this water is wasted due to overwatering. That is 3.5 billion gallons of water down the drain every day, along with money spent for the water bill.
Overwatering draws down our water resources and your wallet, and it may also affect your beautiful plants. Overwatering may also lead to drooping or wilting plants and stunted growth. Plants need a very specific amount of water for the best growth results, depending on weather and soil conditions.
There are lots of ways to save money and water when using water outside. Always make sure that the water you are using is going towards the plants, not your house walls or sidewalks. Also, water your plants earlier in the morning or later in the evening; if done in the early afternoon, most of the water is lost to evaporation. You can also think about rainwater harvesting like rain barrels as a source of water for your plants. Check out our new video about rain barrels on youtube!
Do you know just how much water to give your plants? It can be hard to track what’s going on with the weather and soil. But, now it can be a lot easier. There are technologies out there that can handle all of the effort.
Some of these technologies include irrigation controllers that, with proper programming, can do wonders for your garden and your water bill. Instead of using a clock or preset schedule, they work like a thermostat for your sprinkler system. There are access points that can be plugged into either an Internet router or personal computer which communicates wirelessly with the controllers.
So, the controllers are able to use the Internet to check local weather and landscape conditions to adjust the watering schedule. These controllers are designed to make sprinkler systems more efficient. With them, you can enjoy a beautiful outdoor lawn and garden while keeping some money in your pocket. In fact, it is estimated that they can help you save up to 40% on your water bills.
How are you watering your garden efficiently this summer? For more tips on more efficient outdoor water use and technologies, visit http://www.epa.gov/watersense/ and check out WaterSense on Facebook and Twitter.
Editor's Note: The opinions expressed in Greenversations are those of the author. They do not reflect EPA policy, endorsement, or action, and EPA does not verify the accuracy or science of the contents of the blog.