Poll: Drought is Affecting Water Habits

Poll: Drought is Affecting Water Habits

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Richard Piatt reporting The message is sinking in as fast as water on a parched lawn: The drought is affecting people's water habits. That's according to a new survey for KSL-TV and the Deseret News by Dan Jones and Associates.

Look around your neighborhood, and chances are you're seeing either more drought-friendly landscaping, or more brown lawns this summer. According to our poll, both could be the result of people watering less than they used to.

According to our exclusive Dan Jones poll of 607 people, a whopping 89 per cent say they're actually cutting back this year. That's good news according to water experts, who say the majority of water waste happens when people water their lawns too much.

Some people will come right out and admit: They're not watering any less. They are, however, watering more efficiently.

The poll shows 60 per cent are watering their lawns just as much, but they're watering early in the morning or late at night. Water experts say this is a less dramatic, but still important way to conserve.

People aren't just saving water in the yard, either. Our poll shows people are also taking steps by fixing leaky faucets, by installing water-efficient toilets, taps and showerheads.

The Dan Jones poll says 65 per cent have put those water-saving devices to use already--another effective conservation technique.

There are still lots of people who admit, they aren't conserving water--inside or outside. 15 per cent say they're just not thinking about cutting back on water, and these are the people affected by our next question.

City councils in most Utah cities have changed their water rate structures this year. The fees are now based on the water that flows through your pipes: If you use more, then you pay more--and in some cases a lot more.

But most of the people in the poll don't think local governments or water companies are serious enough about it. 62 per cent say those agencies haven't taken enough steps to reward water conservers and punish water wasters.

There has been a reluctance to patrol neighborhoods for violaters, however more than one government official says that could be coming if the drought continues.

It's a tough job to get people to change their watering habits.

But the first step appears to have been successful: Getting people to think about the water they're using.

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