Drought Survival

Drought-proof your home outside and in, with these drought survival 101 tips. Save these tips as a flyer: English (PDF) | Spanish (PDF).

  1. Outdoors
  2. Indoors

Saving Water Outdoors

  • Watering Trees and Shrubs: Mature trees and shrubs are valuable and can be expensive to replace. During a drought, water trees and shrubs deeply and infrequently. This will encourage deep roots and make plants more drought tolerant. Using a soaker hose can be a good way to water deeply. If you have sprinklers, use the cycle and soak method to reduce runoff.
  • Watering Lawns: During a drought, consider reducing or eliminating lawn watering. Because lawns use a lot of water, this can save a considerable amount of water. When watering lawns remember to use the cycle and soak method Mulch Couponsto reduce runoff.
  • Mulch, Mulch, Mulch: The single most important thing you can do for your trees and shrubs is to maintain a two- to three-inch layer of mulch in all planting areas. This will maintain soil moisture and reduce plant stress during the hot summer. Don’t use a blower in shrub beds as it removes mulch.
  • Have a Leak? The best way to check for a leak is to look at your water meter. There is a low flow indicator on the meter that will move if water is being used. Learn how to read your water meter.
  • Water Early or Late: Outdoor watering between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. is prohibited. You can save water by irrigating in the early morning or in the evening when temperatures are cooler.
  • Sweep, Don't Spray: Hosing down a driveway or patio is prohibited. Save up to 10 gallons per minute by using a broom.
  • Inspect Sprinklers and Drip: Check your irrigation system for broken or misaligned sprinkler heads. Also, check drip systems for missing or broken emitters. Maintaining the system in good working order will save water and keep the landscape looking good.
  • Irrigation Timer: Irrigation timers can waste a considerable amount of water if not managed properly. Check the schedule regularly to ensure you are only watering when you want to. Alternatively, turn the timer to the off position and just turn it on when you want to water.