5 Ways to Conserve Water While Keeping Your Landscape Green and Lush

Data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) explains that roughly 30% of the water used by homeowners goes to landscape irrigation, which equates to nine billion gallons each day. In the U.S., the percentage of a household’s overall water allocated specifically for exterior areas may vary. For example, households in hot and arid climates, where water is typically scarce, often use more than 50% of their water outdoors.

One reason why conserving water used for outdoor irrigation is critical is that up to 50% may be lost resulting from runoff, high winds or evaporation. During the 1980s, the concept of xeriscaping was introduced, a method of conserving water use in landscaped environments.

Systems such as the Flume Smart Home Water Monitor have recently emerged, using some of the latest technology to effectively monitor, manage and conserve water in households. In addition, homeowners are encouraged to consider the following five ways to conserve water and help manage their water budget.

Tip 1: Water at the Right Time

Property owners who wonder how to conserve water at home should optimize their watering schedule. First, begin watering your landscape during the cooler spring months. Getting a strong start in the spring is important for plant growth and will help minimize your water usage, as less water is usually necessary than during the hot summer months.

Avoid watering during peak midday sunlight to minimize the amount lost to evaporation. Watering during the early morning hours allows for saving water and money at home during the summer months.

Understand the Type of Soil and Account for Weather Conditions

Homeowners should determine the optimal amount of water to use based on the types of soil, grass and plants you have. In general, “sandy” soils need more water than heavier, moist soils. For plants, determine the evapotranspiration (Et) rates, which is the estimated amount of water lost through evaporation within the soil and a plant’s leaves (transpiration).

Tip 2: Upgrade to a Smart Irrigation Controller

The Irrigation Association explains that “smart” irrigation controllers are among the best ways to save water. These products help minimize outdoor water use by assessing conditions such as the moisture levels in the soils and accounting for variables including wind, rain and slope (grade).

Most smart irrigation systems adjust schedules according to the local weather data. I.e. It’s raining today; therefore, irrigation is not necessary. Although less commonly found in residential applications, some smart irrigation systems use active sensors for this purpose. Among the most popular solutions resulted from a partnership between Flume Water and the Rain Bird Corporation.

Founded in 1933, Rain Bird is a pioneer that began providing options for those seeking answers regarding how to save water during California’s bustling agricultural sector. Today, their controllers automatically adjust for seasonal variances based on temperature, humidity, weather and more.

Tip 3: Employ the Flume 2 Smart Home Water Monitor

The Flume Smart Home Water Monitor system provides property owners with real-time monitoring of indoor and outdoor water use. In addition to residential solutions, Flume has worked with many water utility providers struggling with drought. Visit this link to see how utilities are managing water use with real-time data by working with Flume.

In residential environments, property owners can easily monitor individual toilets, household appliances and the irrigation system in the lawn and garden area. Using the Flume App on your smartphone, homeowners can create a household water budget, notice water use in as little as one-hundredth of a gallon and check sprinkler systems for leaks to minimize waste in exterior landscaping.

Here Are Some of Our Most Recent Customer Testimonials:

User 1

“Shortly after installing Flume, the system quickly detected a large leak in our irrigation system that we were unaware of. We appreciate the peace of mind that Flume’s 24/7 system monitoring provides. I’ve never used an irrigation controller before and things involving underground water meters are a mystery that I would rather not worry about.”

User 2

“The setup and installation were quick and easy. Shortly after, I received an alert from the Flume App because my irrigation system was running at 4 a.m. when it was supposed to be shut off. I would have never known! Good catch, Flume!”

Tip 4: Choose the Right Grass and Plants

The California Department of Water Resources (DWR) remains a valuable resource for those developing water-efficient landscape environments. Homeowners should consider grass and plants that are drought-tolerant and are appropriate based on the local climate, nature of the soil and level of sunlight. The DWR maintains a large database that classifies plant species based on their water needs and assists with designing landscapes that will thrive in your local area.

The U.S. Department of Energy also encourages property owners to base their plant selection on their microclimate and to group plants together in zones or clusters with others having similar water needs when possible.

Tip 5: Implement Mulching Techniques

Using mulch is another effective means of conserving water in residential landscapes. A report from the University of California’s Division of Agriculture and Natural Resources stated that properly applied mulch helps to retain soil moisture, limit soil temperature and prevent weed growth.

Placing a two-to-four-inch layer of bark mulch in landscaped areas may significantly reduce water lost to evaporation and help prevent water runoff from overly compacted soil. Further, mulch inhibits the growth of weeds, which will consume water intended for your plants.

Conserve Water at Home

Americans depend on access to fresh water for consumption, bathing, cleaning, irrigation and many other critical purposes. In many parts of the U.S., water is increasingly scarce and losses are substantial because of an aging network infrastructure that involves septic systems and wastewater treatment. Water is also easily contaminated by metals and other toxins in our environment and is often worsened by storms or flooding.

Conserving the water used for residential landscaping is one part of a broad range of efforts to preserve this precious resource. Water waste harms the environment as more energy is needed for pumping, treating and heating, which generates more emissions. Water waste also has economic consequences for homeowners, such as rising utility expenses.

The aforementioned proactive strategies for conserving water such as watering at optimal times, choosing the best plants and mulching techniques are best combined with today’s technology. The Flume 2 Water Flow Meter is among the solutions for 24/7 monitoring and managing of water and promptly detecting leaks.

Combining Flume’s system with smart irrigation control products from Rain Bird delivers powerful water-saving results for homeowners seeking to maintain lush lawn and garden areas. The fusion of these two solutions achieves enhanced capabilities of automatically altering watering schedules and optimizing use by creating separate watering zones on the property. 

Contact Flume today for further details.


https://19january2017snapshot.epa.gov/www3/watersense/pubs/outdoor.html https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/AE442 https://water.ca.gov/water-basics/conservation-tips/plant-and-landscape-guide https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/landscaping-water-conservation https://store.rainbird.com/xfd100-xf-dripline-blank-100-ft-coil.html https://ucanr.edu/blogs/blogcore/postdetail.cfm?postnum=18937