Winter Average Help

A WaterSaver landscape — one with minimal lawn, pervious hardscape and lots of native and adapted plants — can save you money not only during the winter, but throughout the year, particularly during the winter average period.

SAWS monitors the amount of water you use during three complete billing cycles from mid-November to mid-March to calculate your sewer fee for the whole year. This is called the winter average. The concept is that during the dormant season a homeowner is not using much, if any, water for the landscape so monthly usage during winter averaging reflects indoor water use.

A water-saver landscape is designed such that the need for supplemental water is minimal. Even during the growing season, a landscape with minimal lawn and native flowering perennials, shrubs and trees requires little supplemental water in most years.

In fact, with proper maintenance such as regular mulchingpruning and effective irrigation, very little additional water is needed during the entire year. This can add up dramatically when viewed over the lifespan of a WaterSaver landscape as compared to a “standard” landscape of predominately grass.

Picture of Mark Peterson
Mark Peterson
Mark A. Peterson was a conservation project coordinator for San Antonio Water System before retiring. With over 30 years of experience as an urban forester and arborist, Mark is probably the only person you know who actually prunes trees for fun. When not expounding on the benefits of trees and limited lawns, you're likely to find him hiking San Antonio's wilderness parks or expounding on the virtues of geography and history to his friends.
Dig Deeper

Find expert advice on garden basics, landscape design, watering and year-round maintenance.