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Shelley Osterloh ReportingLooking for a way to save water and money? Water conservation experts say changing the landscape of your yard can do both.
As we enter the fifth year of a drought here in Utah, saving water has become a big issue. Today members of the Jordan Valley Water Conservation District showed off a new home that will be landscaped to be more drought tolerant. Water conservationists are hoping this yard will be an example for those who want to use less water, save money and still have a nice yard.
David Ovard, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District: "The population projection shows that within the Jordan Valley service area, by the year 2030 we're going to need 70-percent more water than we have now, with the current use of water."
Water checks around the Salt Lake Valley during the past three to four years show that Utahns use more than four feet of water per year in their yards.
David Ovard: "At our demonstration garden at the Jordan Valley headquarters site we have shown that only half that water is needed if not even much less."
Last year, the people who own a home in Sandy used drought resistant landscaping and cut their water bill nearly in half, saving more than 36,000 gallons of water. The landscape is more of a hard-scape element, with pavement, rocks and a few drought tolerant plants.
The Ellis family house in West Jordan (8768 S. 1185 E.) will have a landscape that is far different, but also conserves water. It will feature more of an English Garden landscape, using pre-existing large shade trees, perennials, and Buffalo Grass, which uses less water than Kentucky Blue Grass.
Richard Ellis, Homeowner: "She told me she didn't want to look like she lived in Arizona. So we can't have the hard-scape, the bunch grasses and the dry creek bed. She'll be happy with the green and the perennials."
The cost of the landscaping is about $30,000, which will be shared by the Jordan Valley Water Conservation District and West Jordan City. Aspen Resource Consultants will do the landscaping. The total project should be finished by June 25th and will be open to the public.