There are plenty of ways for homes, businesses and municipalities to reduce their water use and help ensure the state has enough to meet everyone’s needs, even as agriculture accounts for most of Utah’s water consumption.
Such measures are even more vital this year, with forecasts for well-below-normal spring runoff and possible water shortages.
Utah is the second driest state but per-capita water use by its residents is among the nation’s highest, a clear sign that there is much room for improvement. Advocates say water providers should structure water rates to incentivize conservation and meter all use of secondary water, the untreated water that some districts provide for landscaping at a flat rate.
But why wait for financial incentives when you can take simple actions now?
Low-flow fixtures and water-efficient appliances, such as on-demand water heaters and ultra-efficient washing machines, require large upfront investments, but many water-saving options are available that don’t cost a nickel. They are just a matter of changing habits.
Does your car really need to be washed? Your kids certainly do, but is a half-hour in the shower needed to get the job done? Wait until the dishwasher is full to run it. Same with the laundry, and ask yourself whether that barely worn hoodie should be washed today.
How to save water inside your home
Repair leaky plumbing and faucets.
Reuse cooking water in the garden.
Scrape dishes into the trash and soak pots and pans before washing.
Thaw frozen foods in the refrigerator, not under running water.
Use the same glass all day for drinking water.
Cut shower time. Shaving off just one minute saves 1,875 gallons a year.
Replace an old washing machine with low-water models. It can pay for itself through energy savings, while using half as much water.
Turn off the faucet while brushing teeth.
How you can save water outdoors
Mulch your plants.
Remove unwanted weeds.
Adjust the lawn mower’s blade height to a higher setting.
Select drought-tolerant plants that require less water to thrive.
Get a free water check for your automatic sprinkler system. The service is available throughout much of the state starting May 1, but you can sign up now.
Follow Utah’s lawn watering guide.