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Efficient water use is critical to a healthy and clean environment. Fish, trees, and animals depend on wise use of our limited water supplies. Use the following tips to save water (and money) outdoors. The lawn is getting dry when footprints remain after walking on it. Water in short repeated intervals for best absorption, especially on slopes or compacted soils. Prevent water runoff from your sprinkler system. To reduce evaporation, water the lawn in the early morning or evening. Avoid watering during the heat of the day or when it is windy. Install a trickle or drip irrigation system for a slow, steady supply of water to the plant roots. Water only when needed. Frequency depends on plant and soil type. Water root areas of your plants to establish hardiness. Cleaning Low or no-water landscaping requires minimal amounts of water, fertilizer and pesticides. This can save you money and will protect the environment. Place a 2” to 4” layer of mulch around plants and trees to avoid excess evaporation. Use native and adapted plants when landscaping your yard. These plants usually require less care and water. Consider using plants that don’t require water once they are established for some or all of your yard. If your lawn is healthy, consider letting your lawn go dormant in the summer. It will turn green again when it rains. Use a broom to clean walkways and driveways. Do not use the hose. Watering the sidewalk, gutter, and street wastes water. Clean gutters and downspouts manually instead of hosing them down. Use a hose with a shut-off nozzle along with a bucket of soapy water to wash the car.