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Outdoor Conservation
Rain Water / Grey WaterWater Conservation
Alternative water supplies such as Rain Water and Gray Water can be used to optimize water consumption by your landscape. One inch of rain will provide 600 gallons of water for every 1000 square feet of roof surface area.

Harvesting Rain Water
The City of Flagstaff no longer sells rain barrels.  Rain barrels can still be purchased at local nurseries. Warners' Nursery and Flagstaff Native Plant and Seed report that they sell 50 gallon rain barrels.

Using Grey Water
Grey water is wastewater, collected separately from your sewage flow, that originates from a clothes washer, bathtub, shower or sink, but not from a kitchen sink, dishwasher or toilet. Rules established by the State of Arizona allow you to collect up to 400 gallons of gray water per day.

Resources

Xeriscape
Irrigation of residential landscaping is Flagstaff’s single largest water use during dry summer months. Xeriscape has a major role to play in our community-wide effort to conserve valuable water supplies. In addition, Xeriscape is an effective way of maintaining your landscape’s aesthetic appeal during periods of extended drought.

Xeriscape Demonstration Garden
The Xeriscape Demonstration Garden is open for public viewing. The intent of this water efficient community demonstration garden at the Milligan House is to provide an educational site for the City of Flagstaff’s Utilities Department to demonstrate water conservation through proper irrigation methods, appropriate low water use plants and xeric landscape design.

The garden transformation is located on the southeast corner of Aspen and Sitgreaves at the Historic Milligan House (CVB offices). It was funded by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, Water Conservation Field Services Program, Phoenix Area Office and the City of Flagstaff. Design work was by Schaafsma Design. The garden is a good example of Xeriscape principles that the public can build upon at their own residence or business. For more information call the Water Conservation office at (928) 213-4837.

The Seven Principles of Xeriscape
  1. Plan And Design: Take the time to plan before you plant. Create different water-use zones and choose appropriate plants; consider variety, size, texture, color, and bloom time. Water zones are: Moderate - weekly or more irrigation. For practical and economical reasons plants with the highest water needs are placed closest to the home; Low - monthly irrigation; and Very Low - little or no irrigation once established.
  2. Design Practical Turf Areas: Turf grasses are more expensive and intensive to maintain than most other landscape plants. Limit the size of lawn areas to an amount you will actually use. Using a low-water alternative like Blue Grama (Bouteloua gracilis) instead of thirsty Kentucky Blue Grass (Poa pratensis).
  3. Work With Your Soil: If necessary, amend your soil with organic matter such as compost or aged manure prior to planting. Be aware that some native plants may not benefit from additions of organic matter; loosening the soil may be all that is needed.
  4. Use Appropriate Plants: Choose native plants and plants with low water needs whenever possible. Group plants with similar water requirements, placing them in the appropriate water zone.
  5. Cover The Soil: Covering the soil with mulch/stone will provide a protective layer to retain moisture, prevent erosion, reduce weeds, and provide a finished look to the garden.
  6. Irrigate Efficiently: Water deeply and less often. Even low water plants can become water hogs when over-watered. Watering in the morning or late night will reduce evaporative loss.
  7. Maintenance: A properly maintained landscape conserves water. Check irrigation systems regularly to make sure they are working correctly, and adjust timers as the seasons change and plants become established.

Xeriscape Resources
University of AZ Cooperative Extension master Gardener Program