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Look Outside for Water Saving Opportunities

Spring is here and that means more people are spending time enjoying the outdoors before the summer heat arrives. It is also the perfect time of year to work on your landscape.

If you have a sprinkler system, take a few minutes to check for leaks. Turn the water on for each zone and check each sprinkler head to make sure it is aimed properly, so the water goes onto the landscape instead of spraying on driveways or patios. Replace broken sprinkler heads and repair leaking pipes. Over time, washers inside hose connections will dry out and shrink if left outdoors. Replacing them is quick and easy and will reduce leaks when connecting to a spigot or nozzle. These fixes will reduce water use, save money and create a healthier landscape!

Spring is an ideal time to switch from grass to desert friendly plants, which will reduce the area that needs to be irrigated and significantly cut water use. Plants native to the desert require less water than non-native plants, leading to immediate water savings. By planting in spring, new landscape features will need less water to get established than if they were planted in the hotter summer months.

Replacing traditional sprinklers with a drip irrigation system will significantly reduce water use. Drip systems work especially well with desert friendly landscapes, as they deliver water directly to plants where it is needed.

To help customers determine just how much water grass and types of plants need to thrive, Indio Water Authority offers a series of seasonal irrigation guides. Click here for details.

IWA also encourages residential and commercial customers to replace grass with desert friendly plants by offering a rebate of $2 per square foot of grass removed. Customers with above-ground upgrades such as smart nozzles, drip irrigation, pressure compensating bubblers and pressure regulators can receive up to $750 for residents or $1,500 for commercial accounts. Click here for applications and additional details on these programs.

Here are some other ways to conserve water outside:
• Water landscaped areas in the morning. This gives the water time to soak into the ground before it evaporates.
• Use terra cotta pots for plants to retain more moisture in the soil, allowing longer periods between watering.
• Group plants together based on water needs. Sprinklers can then be set to provide each zone the right amount of water for those plants.
• Remove weeds as they appear so they don’t consume water intended for plants.
• Minimize the use of fertilizers, which require increased watering.
• If you have grass, let the blades grow at least 2 inches tall. This will help retain moisture. Cutting grass too short requires more water as the grass works to regrow longer blades needed to survive.