Washington County Water Conservancy District and its municipal partners have invested significant resources to conservation initiatives and the investments are paying off.
Water demand in the Virgin and Kanab Creek river basins decreased 26-percent between 2000 and 2010 compared to the state average of 18 percent. During that same period, Washington County’s population increased more than 40 percent and approximately 50 million tourists visited the county.
Water conservation is a collaborative effort. We appreciate our water-conscious farmers, business owners and residents who helped us achieve such great success in reducing our water use. And we look forward to celebrating further reductions with our water users in the future.
Washington County has experienced tremendous growth during the last few decades – almost tripling in size in the last 20 years. This rapid growth, accompanied with the county’s limited water resources, necessitated the development and implementation of an aggressive water conservation program to protect existing water supplies and the county’s unparalleled quality of life.
The district approved its first long-term Water Resource Management, Development and Protection Plan in the 1990’s, which states: “The district shall develop a conservation program that promotes public education and information dissemination concerning water conservation; and promote the adoption of technologies, practices and devices that will yield improvements in the efficiency and management of water use.”
For 20 years, the district has been an advocate for conservation. The wise use of water is recognized as a fundamental component of preserving and prolonging existing water supplies. Continued conservation, accompanied with the necessary acquisition and development of additional water supplies, will allow the water district to meet projected water demands through 2060.
Click here to read the district’s current conservation plan, updated in 2015.
Conservation Tips & Resources
Outdoor water use is the focus of several conservation initiatives because it represents the majority, 56-percent, of our total residential water use.
Following are a few quick tips to help conserve water outdoors:
- Adjust your sprinkler system seasonally, using the following as a suggested watering guide:
- Winter (December – January): No irrigation needed
- Early Spring (February – March): Once a week
- Spring (April – May): Twice a week
- Summer (June – August): Three times a week
- Fall (September – October): Twice a week
- Late Fall (November): Once a week
- Avoid watering from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in the summer months, in accordance with time of day watering recommendations
- Adjust sprinkler heads so they don’t spray walls, driveways or sidewalks
- Monitor how many minutes you can run your sprinkler system before water begins to run off the property. Make adjustments as needed
- To eliminate run off, break-up the total watering time using the multiple start function on the controller leaving about an hour in between each cycle allowing water to soak into the soil
- Raise your lawn mower blade to 2.5 or 3 inches
- Use turf grass sparingly
- Core-aerate your soil annually
- Hand water dry spots
- Use the most efficient types of nozzles and irrigation clocks
- Check the sprinkler system weekly and immediately replace broke or missing sprinklers
- Use a drip irrigation system to water trees and shrubs
- Check your drip line monthly for breaks and clogged or missing emitter heads
- Use plants that are tolerant to this climate (see Water Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes)
- Group plants according to their watering needs
- Avoid lawn on steep slopes
- Use mulch around shrubs, trees and perennials
- Minimize or eliminate fertilizer
- Cover pools to eliminate approximately 10,000 to 15,000 gallons of water lost every year to evaporation
Following are a few quick tips to help conserve water indoors:
- Repair leaking plumbing fixtures, dripping faucets and running toilets. These repairs save the average American homeowner more than 10,000 gallons of water annually
- Turn off the water while shaving or brushing your teeth
- Take showers instead of baths
- Use a plugged sink if washing the dishes by hand
- Thaw frozen foods overnight in the refrigerator rather than dousing with hot water
- Add food wastes to your compost pile or dispose in the trash instead of using the garbage disposal
- Purchase high efficiency appliances
- Wash only full loads of laundry or use the appropriate water level or load size selection on the washing machine
- Install low-flow faucet aerators, which will save approximately 1,000 gallons of water annually per faucet. Choose aerators with a 1.5 gallon per minute (GPM) flow rate for bathrooms and a 2.2 GPM for kitchen or laundry sinks
- Dixie Gardener
- How to find a Leak
- Natural Resources Conservation Service
- Slow the Flow
- Southern Nevada Water Authority’s Controller Tutorial
- U.S. Bureau of Reclamation
- Utah Division of Water Resources
- Utah State University Cooperative Extension
- Water Efficient Irrigation Practices
- Water Wise Plants for Utah Landscapes