Water Wise: Outdoor Conservation, Storm Water Management, and Resource Directory

Water Wise Conservation header


Of household water consumption, 30% is devoted to outdoor water use and as much as 50% is wasted because of poor watering methods. This can be addressed by upgrading watering and irrigation systems or by installing water catchments so that rainwater can be used to water yards and gardens.

The types of plants used also affects water use. Choose plants that are native to the area so as to minimize water use and maintenance efforts.


  • Detect and repair all leaks in irrigation systems and other watering methods.
  • Water the lawn or garden during the coolest part of the day (early morning is best).
  • Set sprinklers to water only the lawn or garden – not the street, house, or sidewalk.
  • Use soaker hoses or trickle irrigation systems for trees and shrubs.
  • Collect rain water and use it to water your garden.


  • Next time you add or replace any vegetation in your yard, choose a native plant that 
thrives with the area’s natural water cycles.
  • Keep shrubs, trees, and garden plants mulched to reduce evapotranspiration from soil surface and reduce pests and weeks. Pine straw mulch is best; avoid cypress mulch.


  • Sweep driveways, sidewalks, and steps rather than hosing them off.
  • Cover your spa or pool to reduce evapotranspiration.
  • Never leave hoses or faucets running.


  • The average 64 inches of rainfall New Orleans gets each year is handled by an extensive storm water collection system that relies heavily on pumping.
  • Precipitation and run off transport pollutants into an already burdened pumping system and are the main source of water quality impairment. Implementing storm water management best management practices (BMPs) would enhance the Orleans Parish watershed and improve both water quality and resilience to flooding.
  • Including BMPs like rain barrels and bioswales in a home’s landscape helps to reduce run off volume and the amount of sediment and debris that makes its way into storm drains. Lessening this burden improves water conveyance, reduces pollutant loads, and helps to manage flooding.
  • See the Water Wise Partners Directory below for resources to help with the installation of BMPs at your home.


WATER WISE PARTNERS DIRECTORY (Click directory below to enlarge)

Outdoor Water Wise Directory 2

 For more tips and local New Orleans sustainability news, follow @NOLAWise on Twitter!