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John Daley Reporting...Conserve, conserve, conserve.
You may feel like the water conservation message has been drummed into your head as the state has struggled to cope with a five year drought.
But ... the message seems to be working. The latest figures coming from Salt Lake City show that the conservation message clearly is sinking in.
This is the new water-wise garden the city planted. And you're seeing landscaping like this pop up all over the place. City water officials say an upswing in homeowners and businesses’ installing this kind of landscaping is one reason water conservation is up.
Another is that people are watering their lawns less.
And there has been, roughly, a 10% drop in indoor water use. Most of that drop comes from larger businesses and institutional customers.
The big picture is, that thanks to saving indoors and outdoors, Salt Lake City’s total water consumption so far this year is down roughly 20% compared to the previous three years. Of that, total outdoor consumption is down 25%.
Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Coordinator: "I THINK WE'RE LEARNING THAT OUR PLANTS CAN TOLERATE MUCH MORE HEAT MORE CONFORTABLY THAN WE CAN. EVEN THOUGH IT GETS WARM WE'RE NOT OVERWATERING OUR LANDSCAPES AS OFTEN AS WE DID IN THE PAST."
"I THINK THE MESSAGE WE WANT TO GET ACROSS IS THAT IF YOU WANT TO CHANGE YOU LANDSCAPE, GREAT. THERE'S ALL KINDS OF INFORMATION OUT THERE SO YOU CAN MAKE GOOD LANDSCAPE AND PLANT SELECTION CHOICES. BUT YOU DON'T HAVE TO CHANGE YOU LANDSCAPE TO SAVE WATER. REALLY ALL YOU HAVE TO DO TO SAVE WATER IS USE LESS WATER."
Some water wise tips include landscaping with more water wise plants. Experts advise doing that one step at a time – a more manageable approach than converting your entire lawn.
They also suggest watering your grass less frequently. And make sure your irrigation system is in good repair so that you’re not watering streets and sidewalks.
The other message from conservationists is that saving water is not only for when we are in a drought. We live in the desert and these good habits should, they say, be permanent.