Utah is in the midst of a water crisis—partly due to imprudent water use. While rising population and low levels of snowfall are also significant factors, unnecessary watering takes most of the blame. Of course, you can still keep your lawn as green as you want it to be, as long as you make a few changes to your home.
Make Your Own Reserves
Utah gets most of its water from snow that melts and makes its way to the reservoirs. Your house can do the same with rainwater if you have water tanks. A rainwater collection system on your rooftop can collect close to 1,000 gallons of rainwater for every inch of rain. Water tanks can then store collected water, which you can use any time you want.
If you live in a more rural area and have water rights, you can use well pumps to collect water and store them in your tanks. Modern water tanks aren’t as unsightly or bulky as previous ones, and you can opt for inconspicuous slimline water tanks. Collected water is unregulated, allowing you to water your lawn as much as you want.
Most of the water you use in your home can still be used on your lawn if you can find a way to reuse it. Water recycling systems or gray water systems can collect water from your sinks, showers, and laundry. Collected water can then be stored and used in watering your lawn. You can shower as long as you want, knowing the water you use can be used for other purposes.
“Gray” water is safe for most non-edible plants and safe for lawns. Grass is resilient, and a little soap won’t affect their growth or health. Water recycling systems will cost you around $1,000 ($100 if you do it yourself), but it would cut your water use by up to 30 percent. More expensive water recycling systems are available, but you don’t need to drink your bathwater just yet.
Increase Your Home’s Water Efficiency
You can make your home more water-efficient by using the right showerheads, dishwashers, and laundry machines. Simply check for a WaterSense label on the product you’re buying to ensure it meets certain Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. A WaterSense-labelled showerhead can reduce your water consumption by up to 30 percent. Similarly marked dishwashers and laundry machines will reduce their consumption significantly.
Outside the house, keep your watering at a minimum. Your lawn only needs to be watered 2-3 times a week. Watering it every day won’t make it any healthier or greener. Too much water will even make it difficult for plants to absorb nutrients in the soil and cause root rot. Time your sprinklers and do your watering at night or in the wee hours of the morning for maximum efficiency.
Lawns are getting the blame for Utah’s water crisis. However, with just a few changes to your home, you can keep watering your lawn and avoid those yellow patches.