Cardinal Property Management Blog

Community Associations and Homeowners Can Conserve Water

Cardinal Property Management - Saturday, April 30, 2011
Written by Farrah Esquer, CCAM, CMCA, AMS, PCAM, President Did you know that May is California Water Awareness Month?  Community associations and homeowners can do their part in conserving water.  Here are a few tips to help save money by reducing water usage in your community. 1.         Have “smart” irrigation controllers installed and maintained by a landscape company that specializes in such installations and can monitor and maintain the system.  Smart irrigation     controllers utilize sensors and weather information to automatically adjust the irrigation times to reduce overwatering.  Smart irrigation controllers can also be automatically turned off during rain or when the system detects a break in the line. 2.         Have the landscape contractor perform regular inspections of the irrigation system to inspect for leaks and to prevent overwatering onto the curbs and asphalt.  Minor adjustments to the irrigation system will not only save money in water costs, but also will save money in the cost to repair and replace asphalt.  Damage from irrigation systems is a major cause of damage to the asphalt. 3.         Consider conducting an association-wide landscape renovation project to replace existing landscape material with drought-tolerant plant material and adjust the irrigation appropriately.  Your Board of Directors should also consider reducing the turf areas and converting to planters if the turf areas are not used for recreation.  Watering large turf areas can cost your association thousands of dollars in water bills. 4.         Mulch around trees and shrubs in the common area to help retain moisture in the ground and help reduce the amount of irrigation needed. You can save money and conserve water by: 1.         Taking shorter showers. 2.         Turning off the water when brushing your teeth. 3.         Installing dual-flush toilets and high-efficiency clothes washers. 4.         Checking your toilets regularly for leaking and repair leaks immediately. 5.         Running the dishwasher only with a full load of dishes. 6.        Operating the clothes washer with only a full load of laundry. According to the Metropolitan Water District and the Family of Southern California Water Agencies at, taking a shorter shower by one or two minutes will help you save up to five gallons of water.  Turning off the water while brushing your teeth can save you three gallons of water per day, and by running a full dishwasher and clothes washer you can save between 15 and 50 gallons of water each time. Community associations should work with their landscape contractor to develop water saving techniques.  Homeowners can learn more at