There are number of ways to reduce water usage on your property. Often the perception is that you have to make a large upfront investment for a water management program to pay off. While often an upfront investment leads to long-term savings, there are a number of small changes you can make to your daily and weekly maintenance program that will make an immediate impact on your water consumption. Here are some easy changes you can make today:

  1. Water early in the morning right before dawn. It reduces losses to wind and evaporation.
  2. Water only when needed
  3. Adjust sprinklers to avoid waste and ensure uniform distribution
  4. Test the spray patterns of sprinkler systems; check for clogged lines and mixed nozzle sizes of sprinkler heads; and be sure to repair leaks
  5. Use drip irrigation for ornamental shrubs to reduce water usage
  6. Install rain shut-off devices or in-ground moisture sensors
  7. Set lawn mower blades higher to increase ground shade and water retention in soil
  8. Mulch around shrubs and planters to reduce evaporation and cut down on weeds
  9. Use a broom, rather than a hose to clean driveways or sidewalks
  10. Use a hose with an automatic shut-off nozzle

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Richard Restuccia

Richard Restuccia is a water management evangelist. He believes passionately in water efficiency and sees the financial and social benefits far too often to keep a secret. As the Director for Water Management Solutions at ValleyCrest, Richard is our spokesperson at industry events and on the Hill to provide direction and insight on landscape water management best practices. Richard puts his words into action through service on various boards and committees including the Government and Regulatory Affairs Committee for the Irrigation Association, the San Diego Water Conservation Action Committee and was a founding member of the Central Control Users’ Group in the Central Valley of California.


  1. Friday, 6:13 Alan Harris

    11. Install a Pressure Reducer – if you observe a misting effect when your irrigation system runs you may be losing up to 50% of the water to the atmosphere. The hydrologic cycle thanks you for the water vapor, but you will end up using up to 2X as much water to give the plants the water they need.

  2. Saturday, 8:20 Ronny Nelson

    Also using pressure regulating heads that do not exceed minimum head pressure(reduce misting).

  3. Wednesday, 1:02 Eric Romero

    Nice tips. Thanks.

  4. Thursday, 9:57 Jessyca Frederick

    I’m not sure who the intended audience for this article is, but if it’s homeowners who aren’t “in the field” then I believe #2 is actually a big source of the problem. Average consumers are undereducated about most things and don’t know “how much” is the right amount, especially since it changes seasonally and of course by location.

    To help with this, I’d add to the list, “Run your sprinklers with a stop watch in your hand and look for water run-off, especially from your lawn. Mark the time when the water stops being absorbed into the lawn and adjust your irrigation cycles accordingly. You may need to run more cycles each day but for significantly shorter periods of time.”

    Another one I’d add, especially for Southern Californians, would be something about, “Don’t overwater in August, September, and October. It’s hot, but your plants have lower water requirements at this time of year despite the heat.”

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