BEAVERTON, Ore — Water use in Oregon can double when the temperatures warm up, which results in a lot of water waste, and a larger water bill. The Tualatin Valley Water District experts had some tips for using water efficiently:
1. On average, lawns need 1 inch of water per week, though you may need to water more depending on weather. Use a watering gauge or tuna can to help determine how long it takes your sprinkler to water an inch.
2. Water lawns and gardens early in the morning (before 10 a.m.) or later in the evening (after 6 p.m.) when temperatures are cooler and evaporation is minimized.
3. If you hand-water your plants, be sure to install a “shut-off” nozzle so that your water runs only when you are watering your garden. This will save about 5-7 gallons each minute.
4. Create a set watering schedule – they recommend watering twice per week. If puddles or run off occur when you water, break longer watering sessions into several short sessions on the days that you water. This will allow the water to soak into the soil.
5. Adjust your sprinklers so that they’re watering your lawn and garden, and not the street or sidewalk.
6. Adjust your mower to a higher setting. A taller lawn provides shade to the roots and helps retain soil moisture, so your lawn requires less water.