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Let the water-saving tips flow

  1. Sprinkle smart. Run your sprinklers during off-peak hours (before 9 a.m., after 4 p.m.). Or, be the envy of your persnickety neighbors and just quit watering your grass at all … ever! I say, live and let grass die. But don’t let it grow to brush fire fuel proportions.
  2. Plant smart. Accent your landscaping with drought-resistant native shrubs, plants and trees. They weather dry spells (California’s worsening cottonmouth) and make you look like the crunchiest neighbor on the block. Green cred isn’t exactly street cred around here, but you know what I’m saying.
  3. Green your appliances. Start by switching from a top-loading washing machine to a front-loading unit, perhaps, and set your water level to match the size of each load. Ditto for your dishwasher. Make every batch count!
  4. Clean sweep. Yes, I’m talking brooms. Think Quidditch, but not as fun. Well, we should all be wielding one—not a water hose–to scour our homes’ hardscapes (sidewalks and driveways) instead of lazily spraying them down with precious water (like someone I know, ahem, next door).
  5. Have better aim. Adjust your sprinklers so the water soaks the grass, not the street or sidewalk (or the little old lady walking her poodle).
  6. Go deep … once a week. Deep soak your garden or grass only once a week instead of lightly dousing them daily. Sounds a lot like drinking wine to me. Anyway, be sure your plants are getting adequate sunlight and ventilation to avoid mystery mold and mildew. Excuse me, I’m going out in the sun now to get some air.
  7. Step lightly … on your lawn. If the grass bounces back when you lift your foot, chances are it isn’t thirsty. Warning: This test does not work with kids. Trust me.
  8. Be an early bird. Watering your yard before 7 a.m. saves 750 to 1,500 gallons every month! Don’t forget to set your (husband’s) alarm and the sprinkler timer.
  9. Don’t drip. A leaky faucet that drips as little as one drop per second adds up to 2,700 gallons of wasted water a year (not to mention all those extra trips to the toilet because of that annoying sound). You’ll save 20 gallons per day for every leak when you fix sloppy plumbing joints and drippy faucets.
  10. Go low-flow. Retrofit all household faucets with flow restricting aerators and replace wasteful shower heads with low-flow alternatives. Or, stop showering altogether, oh brave one.

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