Water Saving Tips For Desert Living

The Santistevan Group


For some, there’s no beauty like the landscapes of a natural desert. The geological formations and plant life here are like none other, helping to create a unique aesthetic and backdrop for your desert home. The warm, dry climate is a welcome atmosphere for those who seek it.

Living in a desert climate has aspects beyond appearances, especially regarding water conservation. In the desert, water scarcity means that conservation is a must. Let local agents Mary Jo Santistevan and Mike Santistevan (of the Santistevan Group) weigh in on the best ways to save water when you choose life in the desert.

Favor native plants instead of a traditional lawn

The lush, green lawns of suburban America are not what you should expect when you move to the desert. While it is certainly possible to plant grass for your Ahwatukee home, you would need to use an excessive amount of water to maintain it, which would drastically increase your water bill. Because of this, it is highly encouraged to look at alternatives.

Clearly, water is a scarce commodity in the desert. As a homeowner, the easiest way to alleviate the water shortage is to forego a traditional lawn. And as a homebuyer, you are likely to find Chandler homes for sale and Gilbert homes for sale whose owners are water-conscious.

Fortunately, there are many beautiful native plants you can install as part of your landscaping. A few of the most iconic Phoenix plants are:

Saguaro cactus

The saguaro cactus is the iconic symbol of the Sonoran Desert. It is a slow-growing cactus that can reach up to 50 feet. Saguaros are essential to the desert ecosystem, providing food and shelter for various animals.

Paloverde tree

The Paloverde tree is a beautiful tree with bright yellow flowers. It is a drought-tolerant tree well-suited to Phoenix's hot, dry climate. Paloverde trees provide shade and habitat for birds and other wildlife.

Desert willow

The desert willow is a flowering shrub that can grow up to 15 feet tall. It has long, narrow leaves and clusters of pink or purple flowers. Desert willows are popular ornamental plants for Ahwatukee real estate and homes throughout Greater Phoenix; they also attract butterflies and other pollinators.

Ocotillo

The ocotillo is a unique plant with long, slender stems resembling sticks. It is a drought-tolerant plant that can survive in even the harshest conditions. Ocotillo plants produce clusters of red flowers in the spring.

Creosote bush

The creosote bush is a common shrub in the Sonoran Desert. It is a hardy plant that can tolerate extreme heat and drought. Creosote bushes are essential to the desert ecosystem, providing food and shelter for various animals.

The desert fairy duster, tufted evening primrose, firecracker penstemon, desert marigold, white desert plumbago, Arizona poppy — there’s a universe of plants native to the desert. Many are low maintenance. Combined with native rocks and shrubbery, they can give your yard a magnificent landscaped look that is eco-friendly and water-conscientious.

Build a deck or patio

It’s also worth having a deck constructed. Adequately covered, these structures make great outdoor spaces for cooler evenings at desert homes. The luxury markets for Chandler homes for sale and Gilbert homes for sale are filled with beautiful decks and patios. The best are equipped with shade for the summer and fireplaces for the winter.

Alternatively, consider pouring concrete patios, which will also take up a large part of where the lawn would be. Adorn the outside of the deck or patio with desert rocks and paving stones, and you’ll never ever have to even think about watering a lawn again.

Take shorter showers

A long hot shower is a great way to unwind after a long day. But when you live in the desert, they can use an unsustainable quantity of water. Experts maintain that, along with lawn watering, a household that routinely takes long showers will use the most water.

One water-saving tip is to have a shower timer installed. These can be set at minute increments to either shut off the water or remind you to do so when you’ve exhausted your allotted shower time. Shorter showers can be undertaken, going a long way in saving your water resources.

Consider using recycled “greywater” for household needs

The average washing machine consumes between 14 and 20 gallons of fresh water for every load. Over a typical month, this can certainly add up for a family of four. While there are ways to cut down on the number of loads you will launder, the fact of the matter is you can always count on that handy machine consuming a lot of fresh water.

But that doesn’t mean that this water has to go to waste. It can become greywater, a term used in reference to the relatively clean wastewater from baths, sinks, washing machines, and other appliances. Homeowners who install greywater collection systems can repurpose greywater for watering plants, washing cars, and cleaning outdoor areas.

Greywater systems can be expensive to install — $2,500 on average and up to $20,000 for a state-of-the-art system. For recycled water to be a pragmatic solution, you need to collect the greywater, filter out harmful chemicals, and redistribute it (homeowners are advised not to use greywater on edible plants or plants susceptible to disease).

Reuse linens as much as possible

We know that washing machines use a lot of water. And while you’ll need to use the washing machine weekly, you can find ways to lessen the number of times you use this appliance. The easiest way is to keep reusing your linens.

Don’t wash towels after a single use. You can safely reuse a bath towel at least three times before it even starts to mildew. A family that launders their towels after a single use will have their washing machine running a lot more often than a family that gets at least two or three uses from their towels. Families that follow this water-saving tip will notice a reduction in their water consumption, resulting in a lower utility bill.

What’s next?

If you’re looking to relocate to the greater Phoenix area, you’ll find that teaming with an experienced real estate agent will make the journey to your dream home much more manageable. The agents with The Santistevan Group have the dedication and professional contacts to make finding the desert home you’ve always wanted a fast and seamless process. As their clients report, Mary Jo Santistevan and Mike Santistevan bring a wealth of expertise to your homeownership journey. Reach the Group today and schedule your first meeting!

*Header photo courtesy of The Santistevan Group



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