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Water efficiency saves resources

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Water efficiency plays an important role in protecting water sources and improving water quality.

By using water wisely, you can save money and help protect the environment-this includes making efficient use of the water you use to keep your landscape healthy and beautiful.

Efficient water use in the landscape will lower water bills, conserve natural re-sources, preserve natural habitats, decrease energy use, extend the life of the nation's water resources infrastructure, and provide many more benefits.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency offers a number of tips to help save water in your yard.

A key factor to efficient landscape water use is choosing the right timer for your irrigation system.

Several important timer features to look for are:

Multiple, independent programs allow watering different areas of the yard on different days.

Station run times determine how long an area will be watered. This is especially useful for watering different types of landscaping — turf vs. trees — with different methods — sprinkler vs. drip.

Rain shut-off device capability permits attaching a shut-off device — purchased separately — which is used to automatically stop watering when it rains.

Recently a whole new generation of controllers has been gaining popularity. Eva-potranspiration controllers, called ET controllers, automatically change watering schedules based upon past or historic climate conditions for a given region.

The ET controller removes the burden of deciding the best watering schedule from the homeowner.

Other ways to save water in the landscape include:

Making sure the soil is healthy.

Grouping plants according to their water needs.

Using native and low-water-use plants.

Limiting turf areas to those needed for practical uses.

Remembering to mulch.

Learn more about irrigation timers, using water wisely in the yard and the home, and other water-efficiency topics by visiting the EPA's water efficiency Web site at

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