‘Weekly Lawn Watering Guide’: A picture worth 24 billion gallons

SALT LAKE CITY — The “Weekly Lawn Watering Guide” could be worth billions of gallons of water saved if Utahns pay attention to it, the state’s Division of Water Resources said.

The guide is a map released weekly that indicates how many times per week lawns should be watered, separated by county. The division tracks precipitation, temperature and other factors to establish the guide. It then publishes the weekly guide on the Slow the Flow website, the Division of Water Resources’ Facebook page and Twitter and the Conserve Water Utah website.

Irrigation map by county outlining how many times to water your lawn for the week of June 19-25 | Image courtesy of the Division of Utah Water Resources, St. George News
Irrigation map by county outlining how many times to water your lawn for the week of June 19-25 | Image courtesy of the Division of Utah Water Resources, St. George News

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

The division estimates that if residents would water according to what regional landscapes need, according to the guide, it would result in 74,000 acre-feet, or 24 billion gallons, of water savings during a typical irrigation season.

“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.”

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), Klotz said, but reiterated that the weekly lawn watering guide makes those decisions easy.

Division of Water Resources Director Eric Millis said the division wants to empower people to make water-wise decisions. Changing behavior is about challenging ourselves through responsible decisions. Millis said the “Weekly Lawn Watering Guide” can really reduce water use and thinks Utahns are up to the challenge.

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