Live WaterSmart by Adjusting Irrigation Systems When it’s Time to ‘Fall Back’

October 27, 2017

When daylight saving time ends on Nov. 5, residents can take action to save water in the months ahead by remembering to adjust their irrigation systems when they adjust other clocks.

“Adjusting irrigation is an easy way to Live WaterSmart, since landscapes need less water as the days get shorter and cooler,” said Dana Friehauf, a water resources manager for the San Diego County Water Authority. “Residents also should make sure their irrigation systems are working correctly and are free of broken sprinkler heads or other leaks that waste water.”

About half of a typical California household’s water use goes to outdoor watering. Seasonal adjustments to irrigation controllers in preparation for winter weather not only reduce water waste, they are beneficial to landscape health. Other water-saving practices to keep in mind in the months ahead are to turn off irrigation systems when rainstorms are predicted and leave them off for at least a week after significant rainfall, and to install rain barrels or cisterns to help capture stormwater from roofs and store it for future irrigation use.

Fall is also the ideal time for residents to upgrade their thirsty turf yards to WaterSmart landscapes, as homeowners can take advantage of winter rains to help establish a new landscape. The Water Authority’s award-winning WaterSmart Landscape Makeover Program offers a variety of free classes and how-to online videos to help guide homeowners through the conversion process. More information on the program is at In addition, the Water Authority has a limited number of rebates available for homeowners who want to upgrade to sustainable landscape standards. More information is available at

The Water Authority also promotes many other water-saving resources for residents and businesses through its Live WaterSmart outreach campaign, including: free water-use surveys and irrigation audits; rebates for highly efficient irrigation equipment, washing machines and other devices; water-efficiency training for professional landscapers; and an online home water-use calculator and other tools.

For a comprehensive list of tips, or to learn more about the Water Authority’s suite of water-saving resources, go to

  • The San Diego County Water Authority sustains a $268 billion regional economy and the quality of life for 3.3 million residents through a multi-decade water supply diversification plan, major infrastructure investments and forward-thinking policies that promote fiscal and environmental responsibility. A public agency created in 1944, the Water Authority delivers wholesale water supplies to 23 retail water providers, including cities, special districts and a military base.

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