Water-Saving Tips

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Image courtesy of David Fitzsimmons

 

Water CASA’s Outdoor Water Use IDEALS

            GRASS

GRASS ONLY FOR FUNCTIONAL, PHYSICAL USE.

Ideally, grass is used in a desert environment for specific purposes. It is quite appropriate for play spaces for children and pets – either at the park or in the backyard.

Parks and ball fields provide wonderful spaces for multiple and intensive use for folks of all ages. Coupled with trees for shade, these areas are our version of oasis space and outdoor rooms.

Golf courses have legitimate needs for some grass on fairways and on greens. They should, however, be irrigated appropriately. See Irrigation IDEALS below.

NO LAWN JUST FOR LOOKS.

Lawn is never appropriate in commercial strips, in roadway medians, along curb strips, or on steep slopes. A good rule of thumb is whether you and/or your children would ever use the grass in a given space. If you wouldn’t use it, it shouldn’t be there.

LARGE TURF FACILITIES WATERED ONLY WITH RECLAIMED WATER or RENEWABLE SUPPLIES.

This is a goal and an ideal everyone would like to see; your water provider and your local or regional government are probably already working toward making this IDEAL a reality.

PLANT ONLY LOW WATER USING TURF.

Stick to Bermuda, buffalo grass and paspalum – and no over seeding. Overseeding in the winter uses a huge amount of water. Instead, the green industry needs to work toward a super turf that is good for three full seasons (fall, winter, and spring) when we use our turf areas the most.

              LANDSCAPE IRRIGATION

RELY ON MOTHER NATURE AS THE PRIMARY IRRIGATOR – WE ARE THE SUPPLEMENTERS.

In the arid southwest, we really should only be irrigating to establish new plants, and we should irrigate them no longer than three years. We should be offering our plants supplemental water during times of prolonged drought.

SET YOUR IRRIGATION SYSTEM TIMERS OR CLOCK TO MANUAL ONLY.

If you do this one thing, you can save up to 40% of your outdoor water use. Use your automatic timer during vacations and times away from home.

              PLANT MATERIAL

GO WILD, GO NATIVE!        

USE ONLY LOW WATER USING PLANTS.

If you don’t know which plants are low water using, just ask for natives.

You can also refer to the Official Low Water Use Plant List for Pima County for a wide selection of appropriate plants, their characteristics and water needs. Category 1 and 2 plants on this list are the most drought tolerant.