One inch of water per week in the summer will keep most Texas grasses healthy. To determine how long you should run your sprinklers, place straight-edged cans at different distances away from the sprinkler and time how long it takes to fill an average of 1 inch of water in each can.
Don’t abuse the benefits of an automatic sprinkler system by over-watering. Set it to provide thorough but infrequent watering. Check sprinkler heads regularly to make sure they are working properly. Install rain shutoff devices and adjust sprinklers to eliminate coverage on pavement.
Prevent evaporation of water. Water lawns early in the morning or in the evening during the hotter summer months. Never water on windy days. Use drip irrigation systems for bedded plants, trees, or shrubs and use low-angle sprinklers for lawns. Cover pools and spas. This can save the equivalent of your pool volume each year!
Plant water-efficient, well-adapted, and/or native shrubs, trees, and grasses. Choose plants that are drought and heat tolerant and can survive the minimum winter temperatures in your area. In odd-shaped areas, use drought-tolerant groundcover instead of grass. Many cities provide lists of water-efficient plants.
Buy a rain barrel or a cistern and collect the water from your gutters to water your plants.
Use your water efficiently. Don’t waste water by cleaning patios or sidewalks with it; use a broom. For plants that need more water, use a hose or watering can to give them additional water.
Keep grass 3 inches tall during the summer and don’t cut more than one-third of its length at one time. Don’t scalp lawns when mowing during hot weather. Taller grass holds moisture better. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn instead of bagging.