A Picture Worth 24 Billion Gallons?

The Utah Division of Water Resources says its “Weekly Lawn Watering Guide” could be worth billions of gallons of water if Utahns pay attention to it.

“The weekly lawn watering guide is a simple tool that, if Utahns really use, could result in substantial water savings. And by substantial, we mean more than 24 billion gallons between April and October. That’s billion with a capital ‘B’,” said Eric Klotz, Division of Water Resources Water Conservation and Education Section Manager.

The division estimates that on average residents would water according to what regional landscapes actually need if the guide was followed, resulting in 74,000 acre-feet in savings during a typical irrigation season (April through October), more than 24 billion gallons of water.

“We are not talking about people tearing out all of their grass, halting gardening and living on a gallon a day,” Klotz said. “We are talking about, on average, watering in a regionally appropriate way. The nightly news gives you a seven day weather forecast; the weekly lawn watering guide gives a seven day watering recommendation forecast. It is easy to follow.”

Klotz said the amount of watering people should cut back depends on what they’re using now (some people are watering every day when they should only be watering between one and three times per week), but reiterated that the weekly lawn watering guide makes those decisions easy. The guide is a map that indicates watering recommendations by County. The division tracks precipitation, temperature and other factors to establish the guide. It then publishes the weekly guide on www.slowtheflow.org, the Utah Division of Water Resources Facebook and Twitter accounts and www.conservewater.utah.gov.

Eric Millis, Division of Water Resources Director, said the division wants to empower people to make water-wise decisions. Changing behavior is about challenging ourselves through responsible decisions. Millis says the weekly lawn watering guide can really reduce water use, and thinks Utahns are up to the challenge.