Water, Water Everywhere
More than 70% of the earth’s surface is covered by water but only 3% is considered fresh water. And of the available fresh water on the earth’s surface, only 3/10 of 1% is readily available for consumption. Because water is not something that we can produce, it is important to protect the quantity and quality of our existing supply. How we manage water in our yards is important to the future for our health, our children, and the planet.
Ways to conserve water:
Reduce Traditional Lawn
If you must have lawn, choose a drought tolerant type such as Rhizomatous Tall Fescue (RTF) or Rough & Ready or Fleur de Lawn (see all of ProTime’s eco lawns) to name just a few. Read more about lawn alternatives and lawn care in our Information Archive.
Plant Trees & Shrubs
Both trees and shrubs require significantly less water than do perennials and turf grass.
Use Rain Garden Plants
If you want to really conserve, choose rain garden plants. These can be trees, shrubs or perennials. Because they are riparian plants, they thrive in rain gardens.They well-tolerate periods of both excessive wetness and also excessive dryness. Check out the Rain Garden section of the Water Use & Management Information Archive for plant lists that are included in the how-to documents.
Ways to manage stormwater run-off:
Install Rain Gardens
They are a really great way of keeping stormwater run-off on your property so it can be absorbed into the soil there. Benefit one is that it waters your plants. Benefit two is that is keeps the stormwater out of the storm system where it quite often results in erosion and pollution of waterways.
In most forests there is very little erosion because the forest is covered almost completely with plants. The roots of all those plants pierce the soil and provide holes for rainwater to flow into to be absorbed by the soil. The rain water can either be held by the soil, or used by plants immediately, or it can continue flowing through the soil into an underground stream or aquifer. One way or another, the flow is slowed, and this gives the ecosystem a chance to use the water rather than the water running off into the streams or sewer systems.
This is a method of slowing down the flow of water on a slope. The angle slope is transformed into a sort of stair steps; flat then drop then flat then drop. Terracing is a good choice when the slope is too steep for plants to grow on it.