Water saving tips for outside your house
Let's all take responsibility for saving water.
Especially over the hotter summer months when the number of people in the Taupō District ramps up - as does the pressure on our water supply system. It's important we all do our part to ease the pressure. You can help by reducing the amount of high quality drinking water used on your lawns, plants and paved areas.
Check out our tips below on how you can conserve water and help your garden at the same time.
✔️ Water your lawn only when it needs it
A good way to test this is to step on the grass. If it springs back up when you move it doesn't need watering. If it stays flat it needs watering.
✔️ Deep soak your lawn instead of giving your lawn a quick drink every night
This enables the grass to become more deeply rooted seeking out moisture, which will make the grass hardier. Water a maximum of twice a week, but for a longer period.
✔️ Reduce the size of your lawn area
This has the added benefit of reducing your mowing.
✔️ Grow your grass a little bit longer in summer
Taller grass holds water better and it will stay greener for longer. Let the lawn go brown during very dry times. When the rain starts falling again the transformation from brown grass to green will be worth it.
✔️ Water during the cooler parts of the day
Watering during cooler parts of the day - morning and night - means less evaporation.
✔️ Use good quality mulch
Mulches can prevent up to 73% of evaporation loss. Mulches can prevent excessive runoff, restrict weed growth, improve soil structure and help put valuable nutrients back into the soil.
✔️ Group your plants
Group plants according to how much water they require. By grouping plants by water usage you can avoid waste on plants that don't need a lot of water and time for you.
✔️ Water the highest parts of the garden first
This ensures that any runoff water soaks into lower dry areas rather than being wasted.
✔️ Toughen up your plants
Plants can become too pampered and dependent on watering. This means that they will not go out of their way to find water themselves. Wait until the soil dries out before watering the plants. You can use plants such as bamboo as an indicator. When the bamboo leaves start to droop, then it's time to water.
✔️ Weed your garden regularly
Weeds compete for water and nutrients, so weed your garden regularly.
✔️ Dig a small trench around trees
This will give the water a chance to soak in and reduces water lost as runoff.
✔️ Dunk your plants in a bucket of water
Water your pot plants by dunking them in a bucket of water. Wait a few seconds, when the bubbles disappear, do the next pot. This saves water and ensures pot plants get a thorough drink.
✔️ Water during cooler parts of the day
Water in the morning and at night. Avoid watering on windy days too.
✔️ Water the roots of your plants
Water the roots of your plants, not the leaves. The water will be lost by sun evaporation and it can damage the plant's leaves. Pour the water directly onto the roots where it is needed instead.
✔️ Use natives in your garden
Plant drought resistant native trees and plants. Many natives are both attractive and suited to gardens, and thrive with far less watering than other species.
✔️ Use a trigger hose
This allows you to be in control of how much you spray and water is not wasted when moving the hose around. Always remember to turn the tap off when finished in case the pressure builds up and causes the nozzle to pop off.
✔️ Use a timer with your sprinkler so you don't forget to turn it off
Some sprinklers use as much water in an hour as a family of four uses in a day. Make sure you position your sprinklers so the water lands on your lawn or garden, not paved areas or unsuspecting people passing by.
✔️ Collect rainwater to use for watering your plants
Collect rainwater in a container or from your gutters and reuse it to water your plants.
✔️ Invest in a compost bin
Compost improves your soil; it increases the moisture holding capacity of sandy soil and allows better penetration of water into heavy clay soils. It's also a great use of your left over food scraps.
✔️ Use a bucket and sponge
Use a bucket and sponge to wash the car, boat or caravan. Use the hose only for rinsing and turn it off in between rinses.
✔️ Wash on your lawn
Wash the car, boat or caravan on the lawn instead of on the driveway.
✔️ Use a broom
Use a broom not a hose to clean driveways and footpaths. Cleaning a path with a broom is quicker and more efficient than using a hose, which can waste up to 1000 litres per hour.
✔️ Cover your pool
Cover your pool to reduce evaporation, retain warmth and keep out leaves and dirt. Up to 200 litres of water per day can be lost because of evaporation from a typical ground pool.
✔️ Avoid topping up
Accept some fluctuation in pool level due to evaporation and rainfall. They will often compensate for each other, meaning topping up with the hose can be avoided.
✔️ Check for leaks
Check your pool regularly for any leaks to avoid unnecessary water use.
✔️ Discourage games with the hose and sprinklers
Although great fun for the kids, squirting water around can waste up to 1000 litres per hour.