UTAH (ABC4) – A local BYU professor recently conducted a study that found that half of Utah residents are still watering their lawns too much. His data collected shows that you can still have healthy green lawns with much less water than you think.

BYU Civil and Construction Engineering professor Rob Sowby spoke with BYU about the ongoing threat of the drought.

“We found that if you water too much, your lawn will actually be less healthy,” said Sowby. “If you’re paying a lot for your water, you’re probably watering too much. Water is not the only thing that makes a lawn green.”

Many factors go into keeping a lawn healthy such as fertilizing, proper soil, weeding and mowing. The past two decades have been some of the driest in Utah. With little snowpack and less runoff in the spring, water supplies are dwindling which makes it crucial that water is not wasted.

“One (or five) storms does not make up for three bad water years,” said Sowby. “Unless we have several years of sustained, improved precipitation, we will remain in a drought.”

One of the most crucial steps residents can follow is the Weekly Lawn Watering Guide from the Utah Division of Water Resources. This guide, if followed, helps water pressure and water levels so that large amounts aren’t being used at the same time by multiple communities.

“Everyone uses water, so everyone can do something. Even if you don’t own a home and have no grass to water, you can be part of the solution,” said Sowby. “Turn off the tap when you brush your teeth. Wash your car with a sponge instead of a hose. Help family members adjust sprinklers that spray into the street. Small actions show others you are being a good steward.”

Read the full BYU Q&A and report here.