South Jordan aims to reduce water usage 23% by 2025Oct 28, 2020 04:39PM ● By Mariden Williams
South Jordan has various programs in place for bringing its water footprint down. (Mohammad Rezaie/Unsplash)
By Mariden Williams | [email protected]
The South Jordan City Council has set a goal to reduce the city's water usage to an average of 187 gallons per capita per day by the year 2030—a goal shared by all cities in Salt Lake County, as mandated by the state government.
Currently, South Jordan uses an average of about 244.65 gallons of water per capita per day. That means that over the next 10 years, the city will need to reduce its water usage by about 23%.
"It obviously sounds like a lot, but we're confident that we can we can get to that point," said South Jordan City Water Conservation Coordinator Jordan Allen. "I will note that the 187 gallons per capita is required for Salt Lake County as an average. So that is not expected per entity; it is actually expected to be an average over the whole county. So that does help. But here at South Jordan, we do want to reach that and kind of go the extra mile."
The state government has been setting water conservation goals for Salt Lake County and other counties for years, but this goal of 187 gallons per capita per day is new. Previously, Allen explained, the goal had been to reduce the whole state to reduce its water consumption by 25% from the year 2000 by the year 2025. Most counties were on track to meet that goal, but as time went on it became apparent that even more aggressive conservation measures needed to be taken, so the goal was changed.
All of South Jordan's water comes from Deer Creek Reservoir, which is currently at 88% capacity: an 11% reduction from last year. "It is kind of interesting to look at the numbers, to see how much lower we are compared to last year, even with a good snow year. We had a hot summer, lots of water use. It really kind of brought us down," said Allen.
244 gallons per person sounds like a lot of water, and you may have trouble believing anyone is really using that much—or that replacing your appliances can make much of a difference. But old showerheads, toilets and spray sprinkler systems use massive amounts of water, and replacing them helps a lot. According to Allen, replacing an old toilet with a more efficient one saves around 13,000 gallons of water a year.
South Jordan has various programs in place for bringing its water footprint down. Each South Jordan household is entitled to one free kit for converting a spray sprinkler system to a vastly more efficient drip irrigation system. The city also offers various rebates to encourage residents to replace water-guzzling home features such as old toilets, high-flow faucets and showerheads with newer, more efficient models. Replacing a toilet will get you a $200 rebate from the city, and each replaced faucet will get you $100. Replacing just one faucet can save 2,700 gallons of water a year.
The biggest rebate, worth $300, is reserved for those who “flip their strip” by replacing all the grass in their parking strip with waterwise plants and rock chips. Each converted parking strip saves about 10,000 gallons of water every year. In the last year, a total of 83 South Jordan households claimed that rebate, which has saved the city just under a million gallons of water so far. In that same timeframe, the entire rest of the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District flipped 48 strips—meaning South Jordan alone flipped more strips than the rest of the district combined.
"We're just really excited as we move forward in the conservation program," said Allen. "We hope that we can continue to add more to the conservation program as we go and continue to beat our goals and be the example for the county and hopefully the state."