It seems like this should be a no-brainer, but I encountered someone in the past week that left their sprinklers on while it was raining. Their response to me when I brought it up (to let them know in case they hadn't noticed) was oh well...it's just a little water.
My city doesn't have the best record for water conservation. San Antonio, on the other hand, has made some serious changes in how it operates and has reduced water consumption by 70%! What makes that number even more amazing is that while reducing the overall consumption, the city has grown drastically. In a 2011 article, the city was lauded for using
the same amount of water in 2009 that it did in 1984 — about 65 billion gallons a year — even though its population has soared 67% since then to 1.3 million...North Texas has a major issue with mosquitoes and West Nile Virus, and much of that is due to our addiction to automatic sprinkler systems. I know that we all like to put these things on autopilot, but we leave ourselves open to diseases such as fungus when we don't take a look at the area before we water to make sure it actually needs it. This also allows us to empty any standing water so that we aren't a breeding ground for those pesky mosquitoes.
So - first requirement for sustainability: BE PRESENT. Know what systems you have and use them as a tool when you need them, not on a predetermined schedule.
Any tips or tricks you use to ensure you aren't wasting this resource? I'd love to hear about them!