Water, Water Everywhere…

photo by Holly Guenther

Water is one of the most amazing substances on earth!  It can be solid, liquid or gas. It takes the form of ice, rain, dew, snow and fog.  Every living thing  on earth is composed of water, which might be why it’s often taken for granted.

Water is shared among four major players in the United States: agriculture, industry, the environment and residences/parks. The more people we add to our planet, the harder it is to distribute the water fairly among all players.

To do your part, consider some of these water saving ideas:

Install a low-water use landscape that uses drip irrigation. HOWEVER!! If you plant new plants but don’t change the way you water, you are still using the same amount. Instead, water deeply and infrequently. Check each week to see if soil is moist or dry. If it’s still wet, wait and check in a few days. If it’s dry, turn on the water. When I say “check” I don’t mean just look. Dig down into the soil with a trowel or shovel and see what’s going on under there!

Don’t be afraid to let plants wilt a little between watering. Once you figure out what their needs are each season, you’ll become a pro and can just “look” to decide when to water (this might take a few years).

Water before 8 a.m. A lot of evaporation and waste happens during warm weather and/or windy conditions.

Create “zones” in your yard. If you love hydrangeas and just HAVE to have one, plant it along with other water loving plants together in a group. Place lower-water use plants in another planting and water accordingly.

Use a rain-chain or rain barrel to catch water. Rain chains can be absolutely gorgeous (although they are a bit pricey) and rain barrels can be disguised as attractive accessories that store water in rainy season and can be used during dry seasons.

Check your irrigation system. Is it leaking? Check for clogs and leaks monthly. Is there a geyser happening when you aren’t home? Are you watering your neighbor’s car instead of your lawn? Run through all of the cycles to see how each system performs.

Mulch around your plants using compost, bark/chips, rock, etc. This will help reduce water loss from the soil.

Avoid water-guzzling habits like hosing off your driveway. Get a broom! You’ll save water and your health.

Inside the house: fix leaky faucets/toilets, turn off water while brushing teeth/washing face, shorten your shower by a few minutes, wash only full loads of laundry.

Tell a friend! Get the word out and help make a change.



1 Comment

  1. Rain chains are so cool looking. I would love to have one!

    Another thing to do is put a bucket under the faucet when waiting for the shower water to heat up. Mine takes forever and I am able to water my plants all summer with that water.

    I water late evening after sun is gone. Does that work too? Not a morning person!

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