Another Arizona summer and this year, we are in the midst of some of the harshest drought conditions Central Arizona has seen in over a decade. With spring precipitation less than 25% of average levels, and summer heat descending upon us, how we use our limited water is more important than ever.
Water preservation isn’t difficult and your local water organizations can help you connect with options for better conservation. For homeowners, the best place to start is looking at your outdoor water usage.
Replace Your Lawn
While more and more people are opting for attractive, low-maintenance gardening with native plants, surveys still show the majority of homeowners have a grass lawn. Non-native grass lawns can be difficult to care for in the summer heat and guzzle up water. In our summer temperature extremes turf can easily scorch and die, regardless of your watering habits.
While grass can be a pain to maintain, drought tolerant and desert native plants offer attractive landscaping options that don’t need as much care. Landscaping with desert trees and citrus can also create shade oases to enjoy.
Check Your Pool Level
If you have a pool in your yard, pay careful attention to the water levels. Water that is either over filled or underfilled may be a sign that a significant amount of water is going to waste. Overfilled pools are often a sign that something is malfunctioning with your autofill valve which can squander thousands of gallons of water a month. Pools that are underfilled could mean that there is a leak present that needs to be addressed.
Learn to Water Deeply
Your outdoor plants need water at their roots. Arizona’s dry heat means that when you deliver water at ground level (or above ground, as with a sprinkler) much of that precious hydration evaporates long before it has the chance to touch the roots of your plants. For trees and shrubs that need deep roots to establish themselves, a buried irrigation tube or a deep root irrigator can help deliver water deep below ground level without wasting water at the surface.
Make Smart Appliance Choices
When it comes time to upgrade or replace the appliances in your home that use water, take the time to research water-wise options that can conserve water and save you money. Low-flow toilets and showerheads use advanced design to offer similar performance to models that use 20-70% more water. Washing machines and dishwashers with an Energy Star rating represent some of the most water-efficient models on the market. Additionally, many Energy Star appliances are eligible for incentive rebates. When it comes time to get a new water heater, consider installing a tankless on-demand water heater that works efficiently to only provide heated water when you need it, instead of maintaining a constant supply of hot water.
Adjust Your Irrigation
Your summer yard does not have the same watering needs as it will in other seasons, so it is important that your system is adjusted with the seasonal changes. Local plant and water organizations can help you adjust your watering with nuance so all of your plants get the water they need without wasting a drop.
Regardless of the type of irrigation you are using, monitoring the water output of your system helps it provide the most for your plants. Adjustable emitters are good when watering a wide array of plants on the same line. Trees need water to reach deeper than shrubs or ground cover plants, for instance.
Keeping track of your water use is important, especially in drought times. Performing a water audit will help you detect problems like leaks and can offer pathways for reducing your household water usage. Learn how to monitor your water meter. See if water is still being used even when no water is turned on in your system – this is a key indicator that leaks are present.
If you’re looking for another way to have an energy-efficient Arizona summer, CC Sunscreens can help. Installing sunscreens on your home is a great way to drop your energy bill and keep your home cool and comfortable. Our custom-made sunscreens reduce heat and glare, increase privacy and are built to last. For your outdoor areas, our beautiful patio shades offer a cooling respite from the sun.