Water conservation in the City of Phoenix

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The City of Phoenix is working to help residents and businesses reduce their water use by pointing out simple things that can conserve water and common mistakes to be avoided. Max Wilson, the Water Conservation Coordinator at the Phoenix Water Services Department, joined Ted to discuss water use in Phoenix.

“It really is just simple actions at your home: choosing the right dish washer, or the right toilet as you do an upgrade, making sure you chose a desert adaptive yard, instead of grass, as you’re changing your front or back yard,” said Wilson. “Those types of little actions really add up through out the entire city.”

The average Phoenix resident uses about 100 gallons a day of water. Over half of this goes to outdoor uses in single-family homes, according to Wilson. This water does not get returned for use through the sewers; instead, it is lost through evaporation and water runoff.

“The single largest bucket of demand we have in the entire system, this is more than commercial, more than multi family, is just outdoors at single family homes,” said Wilson.

A large portion of outdoor over-using is sprinklers. According to a joint study with University of Arizona and Phoenix Water Services Department, grass only needs to be watered twice a week, as long as the water reaches deep into the soil.

Wilson says that water conservation in Phoenix is not a new concept. As more and more people become water-aware, the differences add up.

“Water conservation through out the city of Phoenix, in general, really started to take off in the 1980s and pick up steam through the 1990s,” said Wilson. “We actually deliver less water to customers today than we did in the year 2000.”

Max Wilson, Water Conservation Coordinator/ Phoenix Water Services Dept.

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