But J&L Garden specialists Garth Goodrich and Albert Smith advise that homeowners should start by determining the kind of soil they have. According to Goodrich, sandy soil requires more frequent watering because it doesn't retain moisture as well as clay.
"Clay is very adhesive. Soak it, clump it up in your hand then drop it. If it is clay it will stay together when it hits the ground."
Smith pointed out the foothill benches are usually sandy soils and the flatter valleys tend to be clay. Knowing the difference can save water.
One simple way to conserve is to just cut back on the amount of water used. A common misconception is that lawns and plants need to be watered every day.
Smith said soil just needs to be kept moist, not soaking wet. During the hotter months a lawn needs only about two inches of water a week -- which means watering about every other day.
Watering regularly and keeping the lawn green will use less water because a dry yellow lawn will take more water to revive, Smith said.
J&L also offers information about drought-tolerant "water wise" plants that are compatible with Utah's climate and don't require a lot of water. These plants will become drought resistant once they become established, which could take up to two years, according to Smith.
"A plant has to have a good, well-established root system so when the heat of the sun does come it will survive," he said.
When caring for a lawn, Smith advised not to cut it too short. The shorter the lawn the less heat resistant it is; it will require more water to prevent burning.
Purchasing water-efficient plants can help, but an antiquated water system can waste more water than plants can save. The best systems for gardens and around trees are soaker type systems, Goodrich said. Soaker systems lead to far less evaporation, than conventional sprinkler systems.
"Anything that puts water in to the air will have the most evaporation," Goodrich pointed out.
Soakers however, aren't the best choice for lawns, so sprinkler systems have to be used. Goodrich said. But there are still ways to minimize water waste. Water during the cool parts of the day, and don't waste water on pavement or cement. Having the sprinkler heads properly adjusted will cut down on wasted water.