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Jed Boal ReportingDespite a fifth straight year of drought and the hottest summer in history Utahns continued to save more water. One family in Sandy found out how much they could conserve with a major make-over of their front yard.
Many Utahns have switched to water-wise landscapes with great results. We first introduced you to Rich and Jodi Ludlow when the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District re-landscaped their property as a Waterquest model home in July.
Rich Ludlow, Homeowner: “We love it. It's fantastic. We've gotten just tons of compliments. Tons of praise and very few negative comments."
The lawn full of Kentucky Bluegrass was ripped out. In went a narrow strip of blue fescue, drought tolerant grasses, shrubs, a patio with retaining walls and a dry riverbed.
Jodi Ludlow, Homeowner: “I've had some people come up to the door and knock. I've had some people come up and ask if they could take pictures of it to get ideas for their yard."
Horticulturalist Dave Rice says the yard is filling in better than expected despite a hot, dry summer. The Ludlows say it's low maintenance, minimal mowing and a little weed pulling. The irrigation system operates on moisture sensors and waters only when the ground needs it.
Rich Ludlow, Homeowner: “Basically takes care of itself. We don't need to worry about it at all."
And the Ludlows really are using the hose very sparingly. They've saved 23-percent on their water bill from the average over the previous three years, and as the plants become more established, they'll save even more.
Dave Rice, Horticulturalist: “Next year we expect the water to go way down, they're rooted into the ground well."
This summer Utahns used about 15-percent less water than the 23-year average, and about five percent less than last year. Drought tolerant plants leave room for even more conservation. Bottom line, the Ludlows say it's a big improvement over the lawn.
Jodi Ludlow, Homeowner: “It was so boring. Every time I pull into my garage, I still have to pinch myself and say, wow is this really my yard."