Water Conservation

Lawn irrigation can be the single, largest use of water in the typical suburban home-from 20-50% of all household use and as much as 10,000 gallons of water a year. In contrast, native plant landscapes of shrubs, trees and wildflowers that are adapted to our climate typically require little to no supplemental watering once they are established. That means real savings on your water bill, and more water is retained in the rivers for wildlife and downstream communities.

In a natural landscape, rainfall runoff is filtered and cleansed by the vegetation and the soil as gravity pulls it toward the rivers or into the groundwater. However, in a typical developed landscape, the natural filters have been removed, and rainfall collects trash, oils, grass clippings, fertilizers, and other chemicals as it rushes off our many hard surfaces into the creeks and rivers. A typical city block generates nine times as much runoff as a similar sized chunk of woodland, and even a suburban lot can produce three times as much runoff as the natural landscape.

There are many, often simple, ways for you to improve the quality of the rainfall that runs off your property-ultimately improving the quality of the water in our rivers for us and the environment. Our Nature Advisors will provide you with suggestions appropriate for your landscape on their site visit.

For more information about Rainscaping, visit Missouri Botanical Garden’s Rainscaping Guide.