STANFORD UNIVERSITY SCHOOL OF EARTH SCIENCES - EARTH SYSTEMS PROGRAM

Sustainable Choices

Avoid Midday Watering & Mowing

Simplicity:
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Carbon Impact:
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Money Savings:
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Health Helper:
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Overview
It’s as easy as turning a faucet. That’s all you have to do to save 8 gallons a day of water. In a time when water resources are becoming increasingly scarce, this is a simple but important part of the solution. Every dripping faucet, every leaky hose, every unused gush of water can be prevented and should be a part of the solution. Keep that valve shut when you’re not using it.

Tips & Tricks
Water when it’s cool. To reduce water lost to evaporation, water only during the cool times of day: preferably pre-dawn or early morning. Your plants will thank you for it—these are the time when they can best absorb the moisture.

Water wiser. Look for sprinklers that produce droplets rather than mist. Better yet, install a drip-irrigation system. You can also install rain shut-off devices and moisture sensors so that your sprinklers don’t run during a rain.

Use native, drought-tolerant plants. Landscape your yard with plants that have low water needs. The best way to do is to go to your nursery and request plants that are native to your region. If you choose to have a lawn, consider an eco-lawn that will require very little water or maintenance once established. See eco-lawn resources below.

Web & Print Resources
Efficient irrigation topics:
www.nrcs.usda.gov/feature/backyard/watercon.html
www.wetearth.com.au/content/guiltfreewatering.asp

About natural lawn care and eco-lawns:
www.naturallandscapes.org/content/natural_lawn_care/naturallawn.htm
www.naturallymaintained.com/ecolawn.html

General water-saving information:
www.epa.gov/WaterSense/water/simple.htm#full
www.h2ouse.org/

Water Sense quiz:
www.epa.gov/WaterSense/quiz/index.htm

Fun Facts

50% of water used for irrigating lawns and gardens is wasted due to overwatering and evaporation. Source

Water-efficient irrigation systems help to waste less water, potentially saving more than 11 billion gallons per year across the U.S. This is equal to the amount of water used by 3,200 garden hoses flowing constantly for 1 year! Source