Water, More Precious Than Gold or Silver


By Jack Lee

The Earth may seem to be so abundant in water resources, but the fact is that less than 1% is available for human use. The rest is either salt water found in oceans, fresh water frozen in the polar ice caps or sources far too inaccessible for use. Without water, there is no life.

Home Owners need to be aware of a few important conservation facts:

  • Water education and conservation is greatly lacking in the United States. The average American uses 300 gallons of water per day
  • Landscaping, lawn care and gardening are responsible for about 50% of the water residents of the State of California use at home. Showers account for another 18%, while toilets use approximately 20%. The arid West (with a focus on California), has some of the highest per capita residential water use because of landscape irrigation. Nationally, outdoor water use still accounts for 30% of household use
  • Water conservation research indicates that watering your grass and trees more heavily and less frequently saves water and builds stronger plant infrastructures
  • One inch of precipitation will distribute nearly 30 tons of water over a 60 foot x 180 foot plot of land

Watering Advice that Saves Water:

Everyone knows that regular watering is a priority for the success of any lawn or garden. Did you know that how you apply and conserve water are just as important? Just a few simple practices will save you and your community water and money:

  • Use proper hose nozzles; not just any nozzle will do
  • Do not over-water. Be sure the soil is moist, knowing that over-watering is just as unhealthy as under-watering
  • A healthy garden requires adequate soil permeation or, do not overcrowd your soil with mulch. Too much or too thick a layer prevents moisture from soaking into the soil and relinquishes moisture via evaporation
  • Water in the morning or late evening. Temperatures tend to be cooler to minimize evaporation from summer or seasonal heat
  • Do not water on windy days; much of it will be lost to evaporation
  • Turn your sprinkler system off when it rains
  • Keep “curb appeal” in mind. Focus your watering efforts on the front lawn. The back yard is usually secondary. Save water for plants and neighbors
  • Use a drip irrigation system (slow, precise application of water and nutrients directly to the plant root zone provide ideal moisture) in gardens, flower beds and landscapes to augment water conservation