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Tucson is a national leader in efficient outdoor water use. In fact, residential outdoor use has decreased over 50% in the last three decades as xeriscape design and rainwater harvesting have been integrated into our landscapes. Yet, outdoor water use still accounts for 30% of total residential and multifamily water use in the Tucson area.
Attractive landscapes add value to our homes, neighborhoods and communities and are more resilient when watered properly.
Poor irrigation scheduling is one of the problems regularly seen in commercial and residential landscapes. Plants that get watered too frequently for short periods of time often develop very shallow root systems. A better strategy is to apply more water, but wait longer in between irrigations. This encourages the roots of plants to grow deeper into the soil where evaporation is less. Plants with stronger root systems are stronger above ground and can withstand more extreme weather conditions.
Monthly Watering Guidelines
All plants, even those adapted for our desert climate, have varying water requirements throughout the year. Water by the Weather is a watering guideline for landscape professionals and homeowners alike. It helps determine the most efficient monthly watering schedule for your landscape, based on plant and soil type. Landscape Watering Guidelines , another publication, provides information on determining soil type and watering system components.
Resources for helping with plant selection and the watering needs of plants are:
The Low Water Use/Drought Tolerant Plant list compiled by the Arizona Department of Water Resources for the Tucson Active Management Area
Landscape Plants for the Arizona Desert by the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association
Additional University of Arizona Cooperative Extension resources include: