3 Ways to Capture and Save Water
1. Turn off the controller. The first and simplest thing you can do is to turn off your irrigation controller after it rains. In order to justify switching your controller into the “off” position during such a warm time of year, you’ll want to make sure it rained enough.
To determine if you received enough rainfall, visit Rainlog.org to see how much rain fell near you. If your yard received 0.5 inches of rain or more, that’s your cue to shut off the water. Depending on how much rain fell, you can make the call on how long to leave the irrigation controller turned off. Here’s a hint: if what you have planted is mostly desert-adapted or drought-tolerant, you can keep that water turned off for a while—the plants are tough. Just keep an eye on things and turn your irrigation system on when the yard starts looking dry again.
2. Buy a rain barrel. To take your rainwater harvesting to the next level, consider installing a barrel underneath an existing gutter and then using that water later to give the trees in your yard an extra boost. Most rain barrels are inexpensive and come in all shapes and sizes. You can buy them at your local hardware store, big box store, or online.
3. Shape your landscape. The other way to capture rainwater is on the ground—by contouring your landscape with berms, swales, and retention areas to keep more water on your property when it rains, instead of washing off into the street. Of course you don’t want to flood your foundation, so you plan ahead and do your research if you choose this form of rainwater harvesting.
Need some more advice on your landscape? The Town of Gilbert Water Conservation office provides assistance to Gilbert residents to help them save water on their landscape. Give us a call at (480) 503-6098 or visit us online.