Outdoor Water Conservation


Outdoor Irrigation Audits

An irrigation audit is a series of tests on your automatic sprinkling system to check the performance and determine how uniformly the system applies water to the lawn. The program runs April – October. Sign up for outdoor irrigation audits here.


  • Water your lawn during the cool morning hours, as opposed to midday, to reduce evaporation.
  • Consider reading the Evapotranspiration schedules posted each day by Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District to determine the most accurate best time to water.
  • Make sure that your sprinklers are set to water only grass and gardens and not the sidewalk or street.
  • Don't over fertilize — you will increase the lawn's need for water.
  • Raise your lawn mower blade to at least three inches. Taller grass promotes deeper roots, shades the root system, and holds soil moisture better than a closely cropped lawn.


  • Plant climate-appropriate species.
  • Try plants that are native to where you live, which don't require as much water.
  • See our list of drought resistant plants (PDF).
  • Group plants together based on their water requirements.
  • Use mulch around trees and plants to help reduce evaporation and control water-stealing weeds.

Xeriscape Gardening

7 Steps of Xeriscaping

  • Planning and Design
  • Improving the Soil
  • Limit Turf Area
  • Right Plant, Right Place
  • Efficient Irrigation
  • Mulch, Mulch, Mulch
  • Good Maintenance

Visit the Treasure Island Demonstration Garden, located adjacent to Lake Laku, along the Poudre River Trail south of Eastman Park, to view our Xeriscape demonstration area and pick up a brochure to learn how to implement Xeriscape principles in your home.