Water Conservation in the Landscape

Drought cycles coupled with increasing urban population growth is putting pressure on water supplies in many areas throughout the US prompting calls for increasing water conservation in the landscape.

Traditional landscape practices tend to promote inefficient water use. A shift in thinking is necessary in order to promote water conservation in the home landscape.

Sources of Water Waste in the Home Landscape

    • Leaking outdoor faucets and irrigation pipes
    • Car washing
    • Hosing down driveways and sidewalks
    • Evaporation from bare soils
    • Inefficient landscape designs
    • Improper irrigation design and installation
    • Inappropriate plant placement and grouping
    • Overwatering

Seven Principles of Water-Wise Design are currently being promoted to reduce water use in the landscape. These principles include using native or plants adapted to the local climate, reducing the amount of lawn, using mulches, hydrozoning, and applying appropriate amounts of water for plant needs.

Flower bed with trees, flowers, and greenery
Water conserving landscapes can be as lush as desired Photo source: Water-Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes

Additional Resources:


California – Xeriscape
Colorado – Xeriscape Basics
Water Conservation in and Around the Home


Delaware – Water Conservation