WaterPro and other water utilities in the arid west have made conservation a priority for years. Along with most other Utah water utilities, we have adopted the goal of reducing per capita water use statewide by 25% between 2000 and 2025. While we have made progress, we have also had setbacks. Why is it so hard to conserve water? Here are a few reasons.
We’re Addicted to Lawns
A lush, green lawn can be a beautiful sight, but it’s one of the biggest water wasters in our state. A grass lawn uses over four times as much water as a well-designed waterwise landscape, yet most new houses in Utah are still being designed with traditional grass lawns.
Other locations such as Las Vegas have had success with programs that pay homeowners to replace lawns with waterwise landscaping, as well as ordinances that ban big areas of grass for newly constructed homes.
Water-Saving Plumbing Fixtures Are Only Half the Battle
Many new homes use less water indoors than older homes, thanks to more-efficient toilets, shower heads, washing machines, and dishwashers, as well as new pipes that don’t leak.
However, statistics show that some new homes use more water than older ones! Why?
- Water-wasting landscaping, which we just mentioned.
- “Spa” bathrooms in higher-end homes. Giant whirlpool baths and “shower experiences” with as many as seven heads all use much more water than traditional bathtubs and showers.
- New water-wasting inventions like the water piston hose reel that uses 4-6 gallons of water to rewind a hose, or a water-powered sump pump that uses 1 gallon of culinary water to pump out 2 gallons of wastewater.
Make Water Conservation Part of the Equation
We’re not saying that having a nice yard or a luxurious shower is wrong – just that the choices we make can affect the availability of water for all of us. Please consider water conservation in the choices you make in and around your home. Beauty and comfort don’t have to come at the expense of conservation!