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Conserving Water Outdoors

City officials put water use restrictions in place as part of Fargo’s drought management plan. You can help us maintain an adequate water supply in dry times and reduce your expenses with these tips to save water outside.

  • Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom or blower, not a hose. Five minutes of hose use wastes about 25 gallons of water.
  • Avoid overfertilizing your lawn. Applying fertilizer increases your lawn’s need for water. For best results, use a slow-release fertilizer.
  • Check the outside taps for leaks. A leaky hose or tap can waste thousands of gallons over the summer. Remember to close the faucet tightly every time you shut off the water.
  • When washing your car, instead of letting the water run, wet the car thoroughly, then turn off the hose while you wash from a bucket. Use the hose again for a final rinse.  A trigger nozzle is best because it turns off automatically.
  • Water early in the morning or early in the evening (when the winds are calm) to minimize evaporation. Don’t water at night because this can lead to fungal diseases in your landscape.
  • A lawn only needs about one inch of water per week; that is about one hour of sprinkling. Less frequent watering encourages deeper, healthier lawn roots.
  • Make sure you are not sprinkling paved areas such as sidewalks and driveways.
  • Put a layer of mulch around trees, shrubs and plants to reduce evaporation and keep the soils and roots cool and protected.
  • Avoid watering your lawn during drought periods. Most lawns (except bluegrass) will go dormant if not watered and will recover when rainfall returns. A 500-square-foot lawn needs up to 6,000 gallons of water per week to stay green.
  • Mow lawns as little as possible when it is dry to avoid additional stress, and cut at the highest possible setting. Allow mulched clippings to remain on the lawn to help cool the soil and retain moisture.
  • An average pool can lose about 1,000 gallons of water per month to evaporation. Pool covers can cut water loss by up to 90% while keeping the water cleaner.
  • Focus on growing drought-tolerant plants that are native to our area. They have survived climate extremes for hundreds of years.