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Drought-ridden municipalities may also put in place bans on sprinklers, which frequently water more sidewalk than lawn, and sprinkler systems, which can malfunction and switch on during a torrential downpour. A better tool is a soaker hose or “drip irrigation” system, which uses hoses with holes in the top that allow water to seep out and provide moisture to a small, focused area. If, however, you do like your sprinkler (and it’s legal), use it efficiently. Set a cake pan near the sprinkler, and when the pan is full, you’ll know you’ve watered long enough and it’s time to shut off.