Nearly 20% of U.S. homeowners with water restrictions have removed lawns, according to a just-released survey from Rachio, a manufacturer of smart irrigation controllers. With nearly half of the U.S. currently in drought, the survey found many homeowners are changing their landscape watering habits. Lawns and gardens make up about 30% of U.S. household water usage and up to 60% in dry climates.

In the survey of 1,076 homeowners, one-third are currently living with water restrictions due to drought conditions. Yet despite this historic megadrought, a surprising one in five (20%) surveyed are unaware that many states have water restrictions due to drought conditions in their region.

Rachio’s research further reports:

  • While nearly 20% of homeowners with water restrictions have removed lawns, (as stated above), only 6% living without restrictions have.
  • An additional 52% of homeowners in areas with water restrictions plan to make landscaping changes to move toward more drought-resistant options. Only 24% of homeowners who are not facing watering restrictions plan to proactively make their landscapes more drought-resistant.
  • Homeowners in areas with water restrictions are three times as likely to have adjusted their landscaping to limit water usage, versus those without restrictions (32% vs. 11%). Landscaping changes can include xeriscaping or swapping plants for more drought-resistant varieties.

    Rachio 3 Smart Sprinkler Controller

  • Homeowners in drought areas are also 2.5 times more likely to have a smart irrigation controller (24% vs. 10%), and 3.5 times more likely planning to install one (24% vs. 7%). (The EPA estimates that up to 50% of the water Americans use outdoors is wasted due to inefficient irrigation methods and systems.
  • Of the homeowners living with current water restrictions, 70% fully comply with local watering guidelines.  Meanwhile, 12% admit to having run extra watering cycles, 9% are struggling to comply with local restrictions, and 4% state they will not comply.

Rachio released the survey to mark an important milestone: its water efficient sprinkler controllers have now helped save 50 billion gallons of water.

”By using Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controllers to automate their outdoor watering schedules, our customers have saved more water than a full week of Niagara Falls’ water flow,” said Kim Sentovich, Rachio CEO. “50 billion gallons is a big milestone, so we’re celebrating our customers while contributing to the greater goal of water conservation.”

Rachio acknowledges that swapping out old sprinkler timers for smart sprinkler controllers is just one step on a long journey toward water efficiency. “Our goal at Rachio is to continue to educate about the importance of smarter water conservation, which we believe leads to action,” Sentovich added.  “While smart irrigation controllers are a key piece of the solution, we encourage people to make smart, sustainable decisions about their landscaping overall.”

Since its inception in 2014, Rachio has focused on using technology to make sustainable water use and yard management simple, efficient, and automatic. In addition to saving 50 billion gallons of water, the company’s best practices in water savings and positive environmental impact helped it achieve the official B Corp recognition of “Best for the World 2022.”

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