SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Mar 6, 2013) - Save Our Water, the state's largest water conservation program, today urged Californians to check their sprinkler systems and settings the weekend of Sunday, March 10, when they "spring forward" into Daylight Saving Time by setting their clocks one hour ahead. Save Our Water is a statewide public education program sponsored by the Association of California Water Agencies (ACWA) and the California Department of Water Resources (DWR).
"Californians may lose an hour of sleep when they change their clocks, but we can save significant amounts of water by using Daylight Saving Time as a reminder to check our sprinkler systems for leaks and to reset our timers," said Jennifer Persike, ACWA's Deputy Executive Director for External Affairs and Operations. "Most people use more water outdoors than indoors and sprinkler systems are the biggest culprit. Stopping leaks and setting sprinkler timers correctly will save water and protect lawns and plants from the damage caused by overwatering."
Save Our Water was launched in 2009 to help Californians permanently reduce their everyday water usage. Since then, Save Our Water's research has found that Californians believe they use more water indoors than outdoors, when the opposite is true. As a result, outdoor water conservation has been a major focus for the program.
"Most of us overwater our lawns, and we could avoid wasting water by checking our sprinkler systems on the same weekend we reset our clocks," said DWR Director Mark Cowin. "Just reducing the number of watering days or the number of minutes per watering cycle can make a big difference in the amount of water used over the course of a year."
To check sprinkler systems, Save Our Water suggests the following:
- Replace the battery, if there is one, in the sprinkler timer and reset the sprinkler timer, if needed, to adjust for Daylight Saving Time.
- Check the timer settings to determine the number of days and minutes the system is watering the lawn and gardens. Compare these times with the recommendations of local water agencies to determine if the sprinkler system is overwatering landscape or not providing sufficient water for plants to thrive.
- Take advantage of the lower evaporation rates when temperatures are cooler by watering in the early morning or in the evening. Watering during the cooler parts of the day can save 25 gallons each time you water.
- Run the sprinkler system to ensure all the sprinkler heads are working and spraying the lawn -- not the house, sidewalk, driveway or street. Resetting the sprinkler heads to deliver the water where it is needed can save 12 to 15 gallons each watering cycle.
- Look for perpetually damp spots in the yard or places where water pools because these could be signs of a leak in the sprinkler system.
- If a leak is suspected, check the water meter before and after a two-hour period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, a leak is likely the cause for the change.
"Small changes can make a big difference when it comes to outdoor watering and landscape maintenance practices," said Persike. "If we can remember to change our clocks to gain an hour of daylight, surely we can remember to check our sprinkler systems to save our water."
For more ways to save and to learn more about the Save Our Water program, visit www.saveourh2o.org or follow us on Facebook or Twitter. Save Our Water is a partnership between the California Department of Water Resources and the Association of California Water Agencies