Drought is becoming a more frequent problem. When drought occurs, it is now more severe and pervasive than it once was, underscoring the importance of planning for drought before it occurs.

Government efforts to combat climate change, which NASA indicates is behind the increase in drought over the last two decades, might produce large-scale change needed to protect against drought. There are steps homeowners can take to prepare for drought before it occurs.

Check your well pump regularly

Homeowners who have a well pump on their properties should check them regularly for leaks. If the pump turns on and off while water is not being used, it has a leak. Addressing the leak promptly helps conserve water,
which is one of the most effective ways to combat drought.

Plant native species

Native plants are adapted to the local climate and soil conditions. That means they will require less water and will be hardy enough to withstand heat waves in areas where high summer temperatures are the norm.

Reseed lawns with drought in mind

When reseeding a lawn, consider the potential for drought. Individuals in areas affected or likely to be affected by drought should plant drought-resistant lawn seed. Drought-resistant grasses can withstand prolonged periods without water. However, consult a local lawn and garden professional before reseeding to ensure the grass will thrive in your area.

Devise a wise watering strategy to take you through the dog days of summer

Water-efficient irrigation systems can protect flowers, plants and shrubs during prolonged periods marked by little to no precipitation. In addition, less water will be lost to evaporation when watering during early morning or evening hours when temperatures tend to be less extreme, and the sun is not as high. If possible, hand water during these times of day or set irrigation system timers to do so. 

Raise the blades on your lawn mower

Lawn mower blades raised at least three inches encourage grass roots to grow deeper and retain soil moisture. That can help lawns survive drought without much intervention, including extra water during times when water restrictions are in place.

Dry conditions are more common today than they were 20 years ago. That reality means homeowners must plan ahead as they try to help their lawns and gardens survive drought.