Hire a qualified pro to install your irrigation system and keep it working properly and efficiently.
Hire a Smartscape Certified professional landscaper who has received landscape training specific to the Sonoran Desert.
Adjust your lawn mower to the height of 1.5 to 2 inches. Taller grass shades roots and holds soil moisture better than short grass.
Leave lawn clippings on your grass, this cools the ground and holds in moisture.
If installing a lawn, select a lawn mix or blend that matches your climate and site conditions.
Aerate your lawn periodically. Holes every six inches will allow water to reach the roots, rather than run off the surface.
If walking across the lawn leaves footprints (blades don’t spring back up), then it is time to water.
Let your lawn go dormant (brown) during the winter. Dormant grass only needs to be watered every three to four weeks, less if it rains.
Avoid overseeding your lawn with winter grass. Ryegrass needs water every few days, whereas Dormant Bermuda grass needs water monthly.
Remember to weed your lawn and garden regularly. Weeds compete with other plants for nutrients, light and water.
While fertilizers promote plant growth, they also increase water consumption. Apply the minimum amount of fertilizer needed.
Water your summer lawns once every three days and your winter lawn once every five days.
Catch water in an empty tuna can to measure sprinkler output. 3/4 to 1 inch of water is enough to apply each time you irrigate.
Use a pool cover to help keep your pool clean, reduce chemical use and prevent water loss through evaporation.
Make sure your swimming pools, fountains and ponds are equipped with recirculating pumps.
If you have an automatic refilling device, check your pool periodically for leaks.
When back-washing your pool, consider using the water on salt-tolerant plants in the landscape.
Minimize or eliminate the use of waterfalls and sprays in your pool. Aeration increases evaporation.
Don’t overfill the pool. Lower water levels will reduce water loss due to splashing.
Keep water in the pool when playing, it will save water.
Instead of building a private pool, join a community pool.
Trickling or cascading fountains lose less water to evaporation than those that spray water into the air.
Use a grease pencil to conduct a bucket test to check for pool leaks. An unnatural water level drop may indicate a leak.
Winterize outdoor spigots when temperatures dip below freezing to prevent pipes from leaking or bursting.
For more immediate hot water and energy savings, insulate hot water pipes.
Use a commercial car wash that recycles water. Or, wash your car on the lawn, and you’ll water your grass at the same time.
Use a hose nozzle or turn off the water while you wash your car. You’ll save up to 100 gallons every time.
Wash your pets outdoors, in an area of your lawn that needs water.
When cleaning out fish tanks, give the nutrient-rich water to your non-edible plants.
When you give your pet fresh water, don’t throw the old water down the drain. Use it to water your trees or shrubs.
Use a broom instead of a hose to clean patios, sidewalks and driveways, and save water every time.
Evaporative coolers require a seasonal maintenance check. For more efficient cooling, check your evaporative cooler annually.
If you have an evaporative cooler, direct the water drain to plants in your landscape.
Set water softeners for a minimum number of refills to save both water and chemicals, plus energy, too.
If you have an evaporative cooler, install a recirculating pump to keep water from bleeding off with one pass.
Report broken pipes, leaky hydrants and errant sprinklers to property owners or your local water provider.
Know where your master water shut-off valve is located. Were a pipe to burst, this could save gallons of water and prevent damage.
Install a thermostat and timer on your evaporative cooler so it only operates when necessary.