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Water Conservation: ‘North Logan should pat itself on the back’

November 28th, 2015 Posted in Opinion

By Jaesea Gatherum

NORTH LOGAN — “North Logan should pat itself on the back” after its above-average efforts to conserve water reported in a recent water conservation survey, a Utah State University researcher told the City Council.

sprinklerMelissa Haefner, a sociologist at USU, collaborated with researchers at the University of Utah to find out how residents of Cache, Salt Lake and Heber valleys view water conservation, Haefner said. The data was gathered from a 2014 random sample of 2,300 residents in these areas.

“North Logan is absolutely getting the message to conserve water,” Haefner said. That message of water conservation stems from campaigns such as Slow the Flow, Save H2O, which gives people tips on how to conserve water in this dry state.

Statistics from the iUTAH survey shows 98 percent of residents in North Logan water their lawns during the early morning, evening or at night to prevent the water from evaporating before it soaks into the ground, which helps save water. This was the highest percentage of any of the cities that were surveyed, Haefner said.

Now that it is winter, the focus on conserving water outside has shifted into how residents can save water inside their homes. According to the findings in the survey, 52 percent of people in North Logan thought they could do more to reduce the amount of water they use indoors.

“I live in an apartment complex so I can’t control what is watered outside,” said resident Autumn Allinson. “But I can do my part by conserving water inside by taking shorter showers and washing dishes by hand instead of using the dishwasher.”

Speaking of dishwashers, 90.3 percent of North Logan residents said they run their dishwashers only when they are full, as opposed to 82 percent of Salt Lake City residents who do. This prevents dishwashers from being run more frequently, which saves water.

About 89 percent of the respondents in Cache Valley said they also save water by fixing leaking faucets and toilets. This might not seem like a huge step in water conservation, but according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, a faucet that leaks at the rate of one drip per second wastes approximately 3,000 gallons of water per year. Fixing that seemingly insignificant little drip can also save people up to 10 percent on their water bills, the EPA calculates.

More information about water conservation and the iUTAH survey results can be found here.

The survey was conducted by Innovative Urban Transitions and Aridregion Hydro-sustainability, or iUTAH, an interdisciplinary research and training program aimed at strengthening science for Utah’s water future. It brings together a network of researchers, universities, governmental agencies, industry partners, and non-profit organizations throughout the state.


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