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 epa.gov/owm/water-efficiency/index.htm.