Practicing water conservation as a community by being proactive

UTAH — From summer heat waves to winter temperatures, it’s normal for leaks to occur in various places, whether from a faucet or somewhere else. It’s easy to pass off these things as just a tiny issue but added up over a year, the quantity becomes significant. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the average household wastes over 10,000 gallons a year, with that number rising to 1 trillion gallons when considering nationwide. As it is the EPA’s annual Fix a Leak Week, there is no better time to take a few extra steps toward reducing wasteful water use.

The importance of water conservation is only growing as populations increase and resources become used up. This winter might be breaking records for snowfall at nearly every resort in the state, but it doesn’t diminish the fact that Utah is a desert and is still in a drought.

Over 97% of Utah is still listed as at least being abnormally dry. While that is a significant improvement, weather patterns could just as easily change, and all that recovery could float away. Taking the extra steps to ensure there are no leaks in your home can make a significant difference and save you money by simply avoiding wasteful water use and checking for leaks.

Practicing WaterSense and taking proactive steps to reduce water usage is nothing new for agriculture. In many cases, the line between profit and loss is a tricky balancing act that requires saving resources wherever possible. Programs such as the Utah Division of Agriculture and Food’s Water Optimization Program are helping farmers and ranchers to reduce their water usage.

While fixing leaks, reducing wasteful water use in homes, and agriculture efficiently using the water they use is a great starting point, other methods can help, such as rain harvesting.

Springtime is the transition from snow to rain and a perfect time to set up containers for rain. In Utah, residents can collect up to 100 gallons without having to do any reporting. If the desire is to capture more water, a short form from the Utah Division of Water Rights will allow rain harvest up to 2,500 gallons.

Visit the WaterSense page of the EPA’s website to learn more information on all things water, ranging from landscaping tips to activities for kids that help convey the reasons why saving water is important and how they can help. Additional water-saving tips can be found on the Slow the Flow and the Utah Division of Water Resources websites.

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