04.29.14Alan Harris

10 Ways To Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings

Allowing turfgrass to grow taller will reduce the amount of water required, but cutting more than 1/3 of the leaf blade will cause stress.

Photo Credit: waking up the lawn by Vin

Did you miss the WaterSense “Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings” webinar, which introduced you to outdoor water saving methods for hotels featuring Richard Restuccia and the award-winning Resort at Pelican Hill in Newport Beach, CA? Thanks to the great followup email from the folks at EPA WaterSense here is a quick summary . 

Reduce Outdoor Water Use to Maximize Water Savings

  1. Add mulch and topsoil, where appropriate
  2. Aerate high-traffic areas in lawns to reduce compaction 
  3. Allow turfgrass to grow longer before cutting it 
  4. Update zone-by-zone irrigation schedules monthly (or daily with a smart controller)
  5. Apply “cycle and soak” to steep slopes or clay soil types; water other landscapes with larger volumes less frequently 
  6. Check sprinkler heads to ensure they are spraying the landscaps and not pavement or buildings
  7. Install a water meter dedicated to the irrigation system 
  8. Do not heat pools above 79°F (26°C) 
  9. Clean filter media only as necessary and not on a set schedule 
  10. Use pool covers or liquid barriers 

While the last three water saving recommendations are unique to hospitality properties and  homeowners with pools, the first seven water saving recommendations are universal. Want more water saving ideas? Check out “100 Simple Ways to Save Water Outdoors“.

3 Steps for Hospitality to Maximize Water Savings

If your property is in the hospitality industry be sure to:

  1. Take the H2Otel Challenge pledge if you haven’t done so already to receive free recognition, outreach, and technical tools.
  2. View recorded versions of the previous H2Otel Challenge webinars  and share them with your colleagues. “Make a Splash With Outdoor Water Savings” webinar will be posted there soon, too.
  3. Sign up for the upcoming technical webinars:

Demonstrating WaterSense’s WaterUSE Tool
May 29, 2014, 2:00—3:30 p.m. ET - Register now

Minimize Water Use in Mechanical/HVAC Systems
June 12, 2014, 2:00—3:30 p.m. ET - Register now

If you have any questions, please contact the WaterSense Helpline at or 866-WTR-SENS (987-7367) and if you enjoyed reading about how to maximize outdoor water savings, please share it with a friend, check out my previous posts, follow me on Twitter @h2oMatters and check out water stories I am reading on Flipboard:



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Alan Harris

Alan Harris is a water management pioneer. With roots in landscape architecture, Alan has worked with irrigation throughout his career experimenting with hydrozones and a variety of high efficiency irrigation systems. Now, over thirty years in the landscape industry, Alan continues to stay apprised of the latest technology even in a sales leadership capacity as our Director of Sales Operations for our landscape maintenance division. In addition to his contributions to this blog, Alan keeps his hand in water management as a regular contributor to Lawn & Landscape Magazine and speaker at WaterSmart Innovations Conference.


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