If available, use properly treated wastewater for irrigation.
Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best). Do not water on windy days.
Water trees and shrubs, which have deep root systems, longer and less frequently than shallow-rooted plants which require smaller amounts of water more often. Check with the local extension service for advice on the amount and frequency of watering needed in your area.
Water turf areas deeply but less frequently to promote a healthier grass cover.
Follow local watering restriction guidelines even before restrictions go into effect and after the restrictions are lifted.
Set sprinklers to water the lawn or garden only - not the street or sidewalk.
Use soaker hoses and trickle irrigation systems especially on steep slopes to limit runoff.
Water the lawn only when needed. If grass does not spring back after walking on it, it probably needs water.
Use a screwdriver as a soil probe. If the screw driver goes in easily, no watering is needed.
Install moisture sensors on sprinkler systems to shut off the system when rainfall occurs.
Install a rain gauge to catch rainfall and sprinkler irrigation to avoid over-application of water.
If possible, direct downspouts to water nearby bushes or other plantings.
Have your soil tested for nutrient content and add organic matter if needed. Good soil absorbs and retains water better.
Minimize turf areas and use native grasses.
Use native plants in your landscape - they require less care and water than ornamental varieties.
Group plantings according to watering needs.
Plant during the spring or fall when less watering is required.
Repair all leaks in irrigation systems.
Use mulch around shrubs and garden plants to reduce evaporation from the soil surface and cut down on weed growth.
Remove thatch and aerate turf to encourage movement of water to the root zone.
Raise your lawn mower cutting height -- longer grass blades help shade each other, cut down on evaporation, and inhibit weed growth.
Mow your lawn as infrequently as possible -- the stress of mowing causes grass to use more water.
Do not over fertilize which promotes excessive growth and requires additional watering.
Be sure to remove weeds or other unwanted growth which compete for water.
Aerate your lawn to allow water to reach the root zone easier and to prevent runoff.
Investigate whether "brown" areas in lawns are being caused by insects or disease rather than lack of water.
Ornamental Water Features:
Do not install or use ornamental water features unless they recycle the water. Do not operate during a drought.