Outdoor Conservation Tips

  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways rather than spraying them clean with water.
  • Check and fix leaky hoses and faucets.
  • Don’t run the hose when washing the car. Instead try using a bucket of soapy water. Use the hose only to rinse.
  • Cover pools and hot tubs when not in use to prevent evaporation.
  • Drain outside spigots to prevent freezing in the winter.
  • For more information on outdoor irrigation please visit www.h2ouse.org.

Tips on how to conserve water when gardening:

  • Use native plants where possible. Natives tend to be more resistant to drought and provide better habitat for local wildlife.
  • Water your plants during the cool part of the day. Watering in the morning or evening can reduce the amount of water lost to evaporation by as much as 30%. Morning watering is best since it helps to deter fungus growth. In support of this concept, Moscow City Ordinance 2007-13 allows watering with sprinkler systems ONLY between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 10:00 a.m.
  • Remember to mulch around plants and trees. Mulching will retain soil moisture by slowing water lost to evaporation. In addition to conserving water, mulching also increases organic matter in the soil and discourages weed growth.
  • Leave a little extra length on the lawn. Cutting the grass shorter than 2.5 inches increases the amount of water lost to soil evaporation.
  • Aerate clayey soils. Clay soils have a tendency to absorb water slowly, as a result water can pool or be lost as run-off. Aerating clay soils once a year allows for better infiltration and less water waste.
  • Use sprinklers that produce large raindrops. Larger raindrops are heavier and less easily influenced by the wind than smaller drops.
  • If it doesn’t grow, don’t water it. Make sure your sprinklers are hitting the soil, not concrete.
  • When watering, soak the soil. A light sprinkling of water does not allow for moisture to infiltrate into the root zone of the soil. In fact, much of the water from a light sprinkle is lost to evaporation. Deep watering also encourages deeper root growth. Typically, turf grass needs no more than an inch of water per week; this can vary depending on turf type and sun exposure.
  • Arrange plants into similar water requiring zones. This makes automatic watering easier without compromising plant health.
  • Healthier soils hold more moisture and give life to healthier plants. When establishing a new lawn, add a high-quality topsoil to retain soil moisture. In established lawns, add compost to keep and improve soil quality.
  • Landscape with plants that do not require a lot of water, also known as Xeriscaping.

More Conservation Links:

Contact Us

We are located at:

Water Department
201 N. Main Street
Moscow, Idaho 83843
Voice: 208.882.3122
Fax: 208.883.7113