Good Gardening: Tips for Wise Water Management

Don't waste water; use it wisely!

| September/October 2005

  • Photo by Nigel Valdez

  • Photo by Nigel Valdez

Tips for wise water management:

• Plant water before you plant plants by creating numerous basins throughout your property to spread and sink the flow of water. Plant in those basins. Start small and keep it simple so you can maintain it yourself.

• Don’t send water straight to the street. Instead, let basins overflow into other basins to give precious water the maximum opportunity to infiltrate.

• Raise paths, driveways, and patios so water will drain off them and be held in planted basins. Pathways and patios will be less muddy during rainy seasons.

• If using water-needy varieties, plant them near your house where they have easy access to roof runoff and graywater. Everywhere else plant vegetation—ideally native species—with low water requirements.

• Start harvesting water from the top of your watershed—your roof. Send water from your roof gutters to basins at least ten feet away from the house to avoid flooding and foundation damage.

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