resources : Water Conservation

Why worry about water conservation in Flagstaff? Because the climate here is incredibly dry!

The Southwestern U.S. has been in a state of drought since 1996. All homeowners in Flagstaff should know which days of the week and during what hours they are allowed to water. Flagstaff receives an average of 22 inches of rain per year and has about 162 clear days. The humidity is usually only 39 percent in the afternoons. This makes it difficult to maintain traditional lawns without extensive watering during the summer.

Low-Water Homescaping

Low-water homescaping is an environmental design that minimizes the need for irrigation. There are several ways that homeowners can reduce water usage:

Goals of Water Conservation

  • Save money (reduce water bill)
  • Reduce maintenance time and costs
  • Create a beautiful garden
  • Have an ecologically sound landscape incorporating native plants
  • Invite wildlife onto property

Flagstaff residents have a special responsibility to maximize water conservation because they are in a high desert environment. There are many ways to conserve water outside the home. Low-water landscaping doesn’t mean a yard full of cacti and rocks. There are many ways to reduce water use in your homescape. It is possible to practice low-water homescaping while still devoting a small area of your property to traditional turf, but remember — the smaller the lawn area, the more you’ll reduce your water usage and the more money you’ll save on your water bill.

Strategies for Conserving Water in Flagstaff

  • Planting native species: Depending on the size of the lot, traditional landscaping with a lawn uses an average of 78 percent more water than low-water homescaping. Native plants are an effective way to reduce home water use.
  • Terracing: A terraced grade can help retain rain and irrigation water on your property. To learn more about terracing, refer to the USDA’s natural resources conservation service terracing page.
  • Zone planting: Planting native and other low-water plants according to specific water zones will reduce water waste.
  • Harvesting rainwater: Capturing and storing rainwater decreases the need for irrigation during dry summer months. Learn about the City of Flagstaff’s Rain Barrel Collection Program.
  • Amending the soil: Organic material such as mulch and compost helps plants retain water and will compensate for existing soil deficiencies.