Take the Hand-Watering Challenge

Take the Hand-Watering Challenge

Just because you have an irrigation system doesn't mean you have to use it. The hose uses fewer gallons per minute than your in-ground sprinklers, plus hand watering targets only what actually needs water.

Did you know hand-watering is almost guaranteed to use significantly less water than your irrigation system? It’s true.

If you’re outside one evening enjoying your yard after the sun’s gone down, turn off the irrigation system and hand-water instead. The hose uses fewer gallons per minute than your irrigation system, plus hand-watering targets only what actually needs watering.

While you’re outside you may even discover you don’t need to water at all! It’s not necessary to water every week just because it’s summer. With our crazy weather here in south Texas, some weeks are unseasonably cool and rainy and skipping those weeks could save you thousands of gallons of water on your next bill.

I challenge you to go outside and run a zone or two for one minute each. Pay close attention to all the water lost to the wind, spots that are missed and any sprinkler heads wasting water irrigating just dirt (or the sidewalk or street). Now, the next time you water, give hand-watering a whirl. In fact, try this for one month.

Check the next couple of water bills to compare the savings. And there will be a difference — not just in how much less your bill and gallons used is, but also in the health of your landscape. Hand watering puts you more in touch with your plants and their needs.

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Heather Ginsburg

About our expert

Heather Ginsburg

Heather Ginsburg is passionate about helping homeowners and San Antonio save water. She brings experience as a landscape designer and horticultural therapist to each consultation she has with homeowners in her role as a conservation consultant for SAWS. Heather is an idealist and believes every homeowner can have beautiful low water-use gardens and functional outdoor spaces to interact with nature in a positive, life-enriching way. Heather is an urban farmer who works hard to teach her children to tread lighter on the earth.