Lawns can be the single biggest water user for a typical property; a small lawn can use more than 18,000 gallons a year. That means lawns offer the greatest potential for water savings! Consider eliminating unused lawn and re-landscaping with permeable paving materials and plants appropriate for our local climate.
Maintaining and watering lawn during drought
During a drought or high temperatures, managing the water that you apply to your lawn is essential. Following some simple maintenance best practices can also help it survive the drought.
- Water less. Reduce the number of watering days per week and/or reduce the minutes of watering per day. The lawn won’t look its best, but it will survive.
- "Cycle and soak” method. Split your watering time into two cycles spaced about an hour apart to allow the water to soak in, reducing runoff and water waste.
- Check your sprinkler heads. Repair broke, crooked or sunken heads and clogged nozzles. Adjust the spray pattern to prevent sprinklers from watering pavement.
- Adjust mow height. Mow lawns 2½-to-3 inches high once a week. Taller grass blades promote deeper roots and will shade the soil, resulting in less evaporation.
Find more tips in our Drought Survival: Lawn Care Guide [PDF].
General lawn care tips
- Lawn irrigation, fertilizer-use, and maintenance information from the California Water Efficient Partnership.
- Thinking of artificial turf? Although artificial turf is appropriate for some properties and uses less water than natural turf, the district’s artificial turf information sheet may help encourage you to choose low water-using landscapes that can effectively promote biodiversity and help fight climate change instead.