Those with automatic sprinkler systems or other irrigation devices with timers are encouraged initially to reduce the amount of time per
irrigation by at least one-third for lawn watering in fall and plan for another reduction in winter. As much as 60 to 65 percent of all domestic water use occurs outside the home. This is where most water is wasted domestically, and this is where there is the greatest potential for significantly improved water conservation in the home.
Fall often is the time when inefficient water use is most pronounced, because some residents are reluctant to adjust their water use so may continue with a watering schedule best suited for summer. Regardless of the time of year or the temperature, early mornings and early evenings continue to be the best times for watering, since evaporation is kept to a minimum.
Another way that you can reduce your outdoor water use is to consider greater use of native and other drought-tolerant vegetation, reducing the amount of front and back yards covered by lawns.
Crescenta Valley Water District has a turf replacement rebate program, where it offers residential customers cash in return for reducing the amount of lawn area in their landscapes, by replacing turf or lawn with water conserving or drought-tolerant plants, vegetable gardens, and/or permeable landscape/hardscape structures. The CVWD will pay $50 per 100 square feet of lawn area removed. The cash rebate is limited to $400 per water meter account.
As California continues to grow there will be greater and greater pressure on all of us to conserve our most valuable resource, which is water. If everyone chips in and does a fair share, we will have a sufficient supply of high-quality water for generations to come.
Vasken Yardemian is president of the Board of Directors of the Crescenta Valley Water District.