Q: What are your thoughts on water conservation? A: Is our weather pattern the new normal? If it is then we might see a real need for water conservation. It’s probably a good idea to conserve now as it is. We are all creatures of habit. Landscaping typically consist of grass, bark, shrubs and plants. Really hasn’t changed much in decades. Maybe it is a good time to rethink what we are doing. Grass is a low cost ground cover yet in the hot months you will have to use lots of water. Maybe just letting it go dormant (yes, I know it’s brown but it is a huge water and money saver) is ok. Maybe replacing your grass with a different type of ground cover? Native plantings that don’t require a lot of water is helpful as well. Irrigation systems have come a long way in terms of water conservation and effectiveness. Water in the early morning or late at night is a must. Sensors that indicate the need for watering are terrific. Drip systems and really paying attention to your sprinkler coverages go a long ways to saving water. Remember, water your landscaping not your concrete. I know it takes focus but it is worth it. The plumbing industry has done a great job in providing products that help save water. Seek them out. They work and work well. Shower heads, toilets, on demand hot water systems are a few areas to think about. Changing habits are hard. I am experimenting this year. I have let our backyard go more native and have limited the water usage this summer. Now that I have let the clover and other invasive take over, the grass stays greener without as much watering and it looks nice. Not such a bad change!! Thank you for reading Ask The Builder and making The Columbian of Vancouver, WA a part of your day. Please submit questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. Jon can be reached direct at 360.907.5800. Tune into Green Building with Jon Girod on 1550 a.m. on Saturdays at 9 am and 860 am Saturdays at 1 pm.