Part-time Residents



Up to 70% of water use
is outside!

A large portion of residential water use goes to the landscape. Water use tends to go up when contractors are out of the loop on the water bill. Give your pool maintenance and landscape contractor the help they need. Let them know when your water use has taken an unexpected jump so they can help you figure out why.

Outdoor Tips

Part-time residential homeowners’ water use often peaks during the hot summer months when the heat index goes up and no one is home. Pools, spas, and landscape irrigation continue to utilize water. How can you reduce water use when you are not home? The best way is to make sure you or a designated person reviews your water bill on a regular basis and to reduce the use in a few key places.

When the designated person reviews the water bill on a regular basis, patterns of water use become apparent. Jumps in water use, which could indicate a concern that needs to be addressed. This person can convey the water use information to the appropriate persons responsible for maintaining your property.


Use the following tips to reduce water use in some key areas:

• Purchase a new-generation water-wise smart controller using the irrigation controller rebate. Smart controllers estimate how much water your landscape needs based on how much water has evaporated and adjust themselves without human intervention.  Smart controllers also work with rain sensors that turn off your irrigation during significant rain events.

• Use a pool cover - To reduce evaporation and help keep your pool clean during the summer months. A cleaner pool needs fewer chemicals and less backwashing. Or consider using the new chemical covers that create a microthin film of molecules on the water surface to reduce water loss to evaporation.

• Turn off automatic water-using appliances when out-of-town (verify with the manufacturer that no harm will occur).
  - Automatic hot water recirculation pumps
  - Water treatment pumps (reverse osmosis)
  - Water softening units

• Attend free landscape workshops to find out how to design a desert-adapted landscape that requires minimal care.

• Choose desert-adapted plants Low-water-use plants are better adapted to drought and more likely to survive a malfunction in the irrigation system during hot summer months when you are away from home. Check our free Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert booklet for ideas.

• Consider purchasing locks for outside spigots if unsolved mystery water use has occurred at your home.



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