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It’s Watering Season—Make Every Drop Count 

From May through September, water use in our region nearly doubles. Most of that extra water is used to water lawns and gardens. And experts estimate that 50% or more of this water goes to waste, due to evaporation, runoff or simply overwatering. The fact is, water may never make it to the plant roots if applied in the wrong way, but with the right techniques, you’ll be able to keep your garden going this summer while still being water wise.

Make the most of every drop, follow these simple guidelines: 


  • Add 2-4 inches of arborist wood chips to bare soil to reduce evaporation.  
  • Repair leaky faucets and hoses. Even small leaks waste lots of water. 


  • Watering deeply but less often encourages deep roots and prevents diseases.  
  • Let the top few inches of soil dry before watering again so roots and soil life can breathe. 
  • Water early or late in the day to minimize evaporation. 
  • Use timers to limit watering and make early morning irrigation convenient. 
  • Split watering into two or more applications, a few hours apart, to prevent runoff. This is helpful on dry or clay soils, slopes and berms. 


  • Use sprinklers that apply water slowly enough so soil can absorb it without letting it run off. 
  • If puddling occurs, run sprinklers for a short time, then turn them off and allow water to soak in before resuming watering. 
  • Place sprinklers to avoid watering driveways, sidewalks or walls. 
  • Adjust sprinklers to prevent fine misting that just blows away. 

When you conserve water, our planet and future generations thank you. At Seattle Public Utilities, we want to make conservation as easy as possible for our customers. For more tips, tools, and resources visit