As National Drinking Water Week (May 5 – May 11) reminds us each year, fresh potable water is Earth’s most valuable resource. The necessity to deliver clean water and to protect Long Island’s aquifer system is of utmost importance. Managing our fantastic natural resource requires science and a commitment from all to conserve.
Here are 10 ways to reduce water consumption, especially during the summer months when lawn and landscape irrigation doubles…even triples! Water conservation protects the environment, preserves existing resources, and will save you money on your water bill.
- Most lawns only need 1 to 2 inches of water per week. Water early in the morning when evaporation loss is minimal.
- Observe proper watering days: Odd-numbered homes water on odd-numbered days, even-numbered homes water on even-numbered days.
- Monitor potential water leaks by checking hose connections, inspecting washers and repairing leaky exterior spigots.
- Create your own water supply to water flowers and gardens by collecting rain runoff in rain barrels. A rain barrel is a project you can tackle yourself.
- Make sure soil is absorbing water and not permitting runoff. Many soil types don’t absorb large amounts of water easily. Use short, repeated watering cycles to deliver water at a rate soil can absorb.
- Promote growth and use less water with irrigation furrows alongside plants and flowers. Mound soil to form a water collection basin around plants and shrubs.
- Apply a 2-inch layer of mulch to planting beds to slow water evaporation from soil. Mulch also helps suppress weeds.
- Check underground sprinklers, pools and spas, and repair any leaks immediately..
- Help lawns absorb water efficiently by limiting thatch and aerating on a regular basis. Mowing at the proper height for summer growing conditions reduces a lawn’s water needs.
- Check your lawn irrigation system to make sure it’s working properly. When running a sprinkler, set a timer to ensure you don’t forget to turn the water off.