Top Tips for Saving Water
- Monitor water meter for leaks. Irrigation and toilets are most prone to leak.
- Ask your water retailer to install a smart meter to get hourly data on usage and leak detection alerts
- Replace lawn with low water plants native to California’s Central Coast Region
- Cover pool when not in use
- Replace inefficient spray irrigation with drip (e.g. Netafim) or stream spray (e.g. MP Rotators)
- Irrigate only at night or early morning,between the hours of 6 pm to 8 am, adjust schedule monthly
- Adjust irrigation system to eliminate overspray and runoff
- Report water running or pooling in the road to your water company. Use smartphone app Access Valley Water or call (408) 630-2000
- Amend soil with compost and mulch
- Install a weather based irrigation controller
- Use broom not hose to clean hardscape
- Capture rainwater or reuse greywater
Not sure how to save? Schedule a free home water audits through Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Water Wise House Program.
800-548-1882 on online at Santa Clara Valley Water District Website
Landscape decisions determine the amount of supplemental water. Listed below are inches of water needed during the month of July when evaporation rates are greatest.
|Landscape Choice||Supplemental Water in July (inches)|
|Mature Native Plants||Less Than 1|
The amount of water needed for landscapes depends on three decisions: soil management, plant choice and irrigation method. Water conservation starts with soil health. Deep roots and biologically active soil provide greater moisture retention and thus allow longer duration between irrigation. Semiannual soil amendment with compost and mulch is recommended.
Deep-rooted native plants can withstand fairly long dry periods but do benefit from occasional summer irrigation. Turf, with shallow roots and frequent cutting, requires considerable irrigation, 4 to 10 times more than longer native grasses.
Spray irrigation is typically only 60% efficient, while drip or subsurface irrigation is 95% efficient. Beautiful palettes of climate suitable plants are available for replacing lawns. There are multiple benefits of native plants compared with the monoculture of turf: less water, less maintenance, less creek-polluting fertilizer and pesticides, greater scenic variation and biodiversity, and greater sustainability for all.
Change Irrigation Schedule Monthly
A plant’s irrigation requirements depend on the weather, specifically the amount of daylight, temperature, wind and humidity. Below is a graph showing the irrigation needs through the year based on evaportransipiration (ET).