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“Slow the Flow, Save H2O ” is a phrase coined by the Jordan Valley Water Conservation District is now a part of the local language. This catchy jingle featured in advertising and other media is part of a local language. Children sing the song and you might even catch yourself humming a few bars. The message is simple: Conserve water. Water conservation is something that appeals to everyone but it is always something that someone else needs to do worse than we do. We never waste water; it is always someone else. We are only keeping our plants alive. Those big users of water are guilty, not us. The population of Utah continues to grow at a record rate. I remember an acquaintance of mine who related what his professor at the University of Utah said to his students in his class before the outbreak of World War Two. The two statements were that the Salt Lake Valley was full and no more people could live there and that the Great Salt Lake would disappear within the next few decades. The lake is here and has even grown. The population has exploded but the rainfall is still the same. Imported water, wells and others sources have helped but those are soon going to reach their capacity, so conservation is critical. Most gardeners have viewed conservation with a wary eye. Green lawns are seen as entitlement. Trees, shrubs, flowers and vegetables require irrigation. They improve our quality of life and are and add to our beautiful surroundings. They help cool the desert, soften the winds and shelter us and the wildlife in our environment. The difficulty is understanding how to design a landscape that looks good, is functional for the design purposes and has the kinds of plants we enjoy. It also must survive in our conditions and really save water. Water savings has often been base on apocryphal testimonials and not on fact. Many I have visited are watered more than traditional landscapes because those who designed or maintained the landscapes did not understand conservation or basic horticulture. Harsh, rock-filled landscapes have little appeal to some gardeners, yet they want to help. Fortunately, help is now available through the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District’s Demonstration garden. Instead of just talking about conservation, the gardens are designed to teach it. To schedule a free Water Check or find out about the water conservation classes call 1-877- SAVE- H2O. For a list of the plant materials and for more information on the Demonstration Gardens log onto www.jvwcd.org Larry A. Sagers Regional Horticulturist Utah State University Extension Thanksgiving Point Office