Classes help homeowners learn about water conservation
Aug 03, 2018 09:28AM ● Published by Jana Klopsch
West Jordan homeowner Dani Workman collects rain water from a downspout to water her garden and reduce sprinkler water use. (Courtesy Dani Workman)
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Living in a desert state, some Salt Lake Valley residents are making it a mission to conserve water.
Utah received limited snowpack in the mountains, and local water officials say they’ve had to dip into reservoir water early this year. But Shaun Moser, an instructor at the Conservation Water Garden in West Jordan, said even heavy snowpack years aren’t an excuse to waste water.
“Conservation should be an ethic here in Utah. More often than not, we’re in some kind of drought here,” Moser explained.
That’s why state officials have been pushing to implement a statewide water conservation campaign called Slow the Flo. It’s designed to educate residents and also to encourage changes in residents’ landscapes, including using less grass in their yards.
Dani Workman, a West Jordan homeowner and mom, said she’s trying to make small changes to her landscape to reduce water use.
“We water our lawn twice a week and watch the weather to decide what days will be best to do it,” Workman explained. “For our garden, we collect rainwater in barrels from our downspouts and use that to hand water our garden. Not only is it free, but it saves a little bit of water and money.”
Moser said the average lawn only needs 20 minutes of water every other day during the hottest months. In the spring and fall, grass only needs 20 minutes of water approximately 1-2 times a week.
But Moser said it’s even more important to cut back on the grass in your yard. The average sprinkler system isn't designed to water any lawn area smaller than 8 feet wide, such as park strips or sides of a home. The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District offers monthly classes to give residents examples on how to cut back on sod grass at Localscapes.com.
“The style of landscaping that has been adopted here in Utah really doesn’t fit our climate. The English style of landscaping developed in an area that gets rain a lot of time,” Moser explained about landscapes filled with grass. “Here in Utah we need irrigation systems to keep things alive.”
Cynthia Bee, outreach coordinator for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, says Local Scapes offers a small reward to residents who take their classes teaching water conservation and implement changes to their own landscape.
“We’re not calling it an incentive, because it’s not enough to cover costs for changing your landscape,” Bee explained.
The small bonus is up to $.25 per square footage in a landscape, but the real benefit is reducing water.
To learn more about Local Scapes, the next beginner class will be at 9 a.m. on Sept. 1 at the Conservation Garden Park at 8275 S. 1300 West in West Jordan. You can sign up for Local Scapes 101 on LocalScapes.com