WASHINGTON COUNTY (ABC4 News) – Washington County water use dropped by more than a billion gallons over a five year period despite steady population growth, according to the most recent data by the Utah Division of Water Resources.
“We are still producing and delivering roughly the same amount of water as we did in 2010,” said St. George energy and water customer service manager Rene Fleming.
Washington County is the hottest and driest area in Utah, yet data shows it uses less water than over half of the other counties, with over $60 million invested in recent water conservancy projects.
The data report that Washington County residents use roughly 140 gallons of water per person per day, and around this time of year, about 60% of the county’s water is used outdoors.
County officials said they’re working with landscape architects to encourage water-efficient practices and plants that are more water-wise. They say in newer subdivisions, the amount of irrigated land tends to be smaller, reducing the county’s future outdoor water usage.
Yet as the county’s population continues to grow at a rapid rate and more tourists tap into the water supply, county officials said conservation alone is not sufficient to meet future water needs and additional water supplies, such as the Colorado River water from Lake Powell, are essential.
“In any given day, we have about 50,000 people that spend at least one day in Washington County that aren’t permanent residents but still depend on our water supply,” said executive director of the Washington County water conservancy district Ron Thompson.