Reduce Outdoor Water Use
Reducing outdoor water use through best practices and policies.
Why Reduce Lawn Watering?
Watering your lawn can account for 30 percent of a household’s total water use and represents a great opportunity to conserve water to protect our long-term supplies. Excessive irrigation can increase water and energy costs, deplete water supply sources, and pollute by bringing lawn and other landscape chemicals to water sources. In addition, outdoor water use stresses water utilities by contributing to peak demand during summer months.
To keep up with summer water demand, which can be as much as three to four times the amount used during the winter, utilities must increase their infrastructure capacity to meet water needs. Lowering peak demand by reducing the amount of water used to water lawns will delay or eliminate the need for your utility to expand their capacity, and avoid passing along the corresponding costs to ratepayers.
Stunning gardens and lawns are possible without extensive watering. The NWPA developed a regional lawn watering ordinance, an outdoor water conservation manual, and educational brochures to provide members with the tools to reduce outdoor water use.
Outreach materials in support of the lawn watering ordinance and other outdoor water conservation efforts have been developed by the NWPA and partners.
Regional Lawn Watering Ordinance
The NWPA Regional Lawn Watering Ordinance establishes uniform watering hours and drought status criteria. Members are encouraged to adopt the ordinance across DeKalb, Kane, Kendall, Lake, and McHenry Counties to protect the region’s primary water supplies, including underground aquifers and the Fox River.
The Regional Lawn Watering Ordinance includes drought provisions and stays in effect past the summer to maximize the conservation benefits to the deep aquifer, from which water is being extracted faster than it can be replenished.
The adoption and implementation of this regional lawn watering ordinance will allow NWPA communities to make significant advances in improving water supply sustainability.
There are two versions of the lawn watering ordinance - one that uses a color-coded system and one that does not.