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Utahns Still Conserving Water

Utahns Still Conserving Water

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John Daley ReportingThe water conservation message is a constant drum beat, but this month is another hot one. So are the pleas to save sinking in?

The answer, clearly, is yes. This month of July is a good yardstick. This has been the hottest month in Salt Lake since July of 2003. But by a number of measures we appear to be using less water.

At the Natter residence in Salt Lake Sadie and Darrell are out tending their obviously healthy yard. The pair say when they altered watering habits, replaced old toilets and bought a water-efficient clothes washer, they got results.

Darrell Natter, Salt Lake City Resident: "I'd say 25 to 30 percent, with the conservation stuff we've done outside and inside."

Sadie Natter, Salt Lake City Resident: "We're trying to not water as often and trying to water deeper so that it lasts longer. And we usually water early in the morning about 6 or 7 so that it's wet all day."

This July has been Salt Lake's hottest month since July of 2003, but...

Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Coordinator, Salt Lake City: "Our average daily demand during the month of July is less this year than 2003, despite having comparable temperatures."

Duer says water use this month compared to July of '03 is down 10%, and that includes a huge spike of 15 million extra gallons to fight the blaze at Wasatch Junior High.

The state's largest wholesaler, Jordan Valley, reports projected water use for July of 2005 is down from July 2000, before the conservation campaigns hit. The highest water delivery day this summer is also down 18% from the top day in 2000, despite continuing population growth.

A recent KSL-TV/Deseret Morning News poll by Dan Jones found 95% of those polled say the drought encouraged them to try to conserve water. The Natters say they clearly got that message. The only downside is a slight increase in the water bill.

Darrell Natter, Salt Lake City Resident : "It's not as bad as heating the house in the winter."

That Dan Jones poll for KSL-TV and the Deseret Morning News confirmed what these numbers show. We asked, which of the following are you doing to save water? Using less water indoors, cutting back on lawn watering and watering before 10 AM and after 6 PM; the vast majority say they're doing that. And 45% even say they've converted their landscape to water-wise plants.

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