Residents in Washington and Kane counties have made great progress in reducing water use. Washington was the first county in Utah to meet the statewide water conservation goal to reduce use by 25 percent.
Despite being located in the hottest and driest region in Utah, water use in Washington and Kane counties is lower than in other areas of the state, as reported in the water use data by the Utah Division of Water Resources. This is significant given this region’s outdoor irrigation season is four months longer than northern Utah’s.
The Washington County Water Conservancy District’s (WCWCD) water conservation program was recently audited by a third-party nationally recognized water conservation expert, Maddaus Water Management. Maddaus concluded that the WCWCD conservation program is “on par with other notable programs in the western US and exceeds those of other entities of a similar size and customer base.” The WCWCD Water Conservation Programs: A Comparative Evaluation compared the district’s conservation program to that of 10 other similarly situated western water agencies with vigorous conservation programs.
Maddaus concluded that WCWCD’s program budget, spending and staffing efforts equal or exceed those of several other similarly situated water agencies. In fact, Maddaus found that WCWCD employs two-thirds of the 36 most common practices among study participants.
Washington County’s conservation, rebate and education programs include:
- Universal metering
- Discounted impact fees for water wise landscapes
- Tiered water rates
- Landscape ordinances
- Time of day watering ordinances
- Requirement of a water conservation plan for municipal customers
- Water efficient landscape workshops
- Public information programs/school education
- System water audits, leak detection and repair
- Free outdoor irrigation efficiency audits for residences and businesses
- Smart controller irrigation technology
- Water Smart irrigation rebate program
- Water Smart commercial upgrades equipment rebate
- Training and certification of landscape training professionals
- Financial incentives for irrigation upgrades
- Large landscape conservation programs and incentives
- EPA WaterSense appliance rebates
- Statewide water-wise plant list and tagging program
- Public athletic fields conversion to artificial turf grant program
- WaterSense toilet/urinal rebates
- Multi-family high-efficiency washer rebate program
- Funding for local and statewide media campaigns