Five ways to reduce outdoor water use this summer

Updated May 20, 2018
Five ways to reduce outdoor water use this summer

In the Sacramento region, most of the water we use daily is used on lawns and outdoor landscaping, and about 30 percent of that is lost due to overwatering and evaporation. There are lots of ways to save water at home, but using water efficiently outdoors, especially during the next several months of summer, can make the biggest difference of all.

  1. Check the soil’s moisture level. Get a moisture meter which features an easy-to-read dial that indicates if the soil is dry, moist or wet. Simply push the moisture meter into the soil six to eight inches deep and check the reading.
  2. Cycle and soak to prevent runoff. Cycle and soak is a process of running your sprinklers in shorter increments spaced out over a period of time to allow for better absorption by the soil.
  3. Adjust sprinklers to prevent overspray. Overspray occurs when sprinklers are misaligned and spraying the sidewalk, street, house, driveway or other areas that don’t need to be watered. Stop overspray by simply redirecting misaligned sprinklers back to watering the lawn and plants.
  4. Install a WaterSense-labeled weather-based sprinkler timer. These sprinkler timers take the guesswork out of how much to water your landscape by acting like a thermostat for your sprinklers. (We have a rebate for this - up to $150.)
  5. Add mulch. Mulch slows evaporation, allowing water to sink into the soil, moderates soil temperature and breaks down into nutrients for plants.

We are here to help. We offer a number of outdoor rebates for upgrading water-wasting sprinklers and irrigation equipment. We also offer a free at-home consultation, called a Water Wise House Call, for customers with tailored information on how to use less water in the home and garden.

Visit to learn more.

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