’90 by 20′ campaign members to speak out on St. George’s water use

ST. GEORGE – The 90 by 20 water conservation advocacy will be holding a press conference in St. George Friday to highlight what its members see as the city’s wasteful water use.

 On Friday, Sept. 28, 2012, the 90 by 20 campaign will host a Water Guzzling press conference in St. George in order to highlight the city’s unfortunate position as one of the Southwest’s biggest consumers of water.

The event is part of a continued to push by the 90 by 20 campaign to educate residents across the Colorado River Basin about household water use and to get the region’s water leaders to adopt a new regional, residential water usage benchmark.

According to research conducted by the 90 by 20 campaign, residential water use in St. George averages 152 gallons per capita per day.  This rate puts St. George near the front of the pack when it comes to water use in the Southwest, ahead of communities like Las Vegas  at 125 GPCD, Salt Lake City at 117 GPCD, Phoenix at 110 GPCD, Tucson at 92 GPCD and Denver at 85 GPCD.

As drought and increased municipal demand for water put new stress on the region’s water sources, the 90 by 20 campaign is asking that all communities take steps to put the area on a sustainable path by committing to achieving a residential rate of 90 GPCD by 2020.

Saturday’s Water Guzzling press conference will illustrate the disparity in regional usage rates by pitting St. George’s Big Gulp against Denver and Tucson’s shot glass.  The press conference will feature local speakers and a discussion of what communities can do to lower their GPCD.

90 by 20 Water Guzzling Press Conference

Friday, Sept. 28
10 a.m. at the start of the Water Walk
St. George Opera House, 212 North Main

Miranda Jones, 90 by 20 Campaign
Christi Wedig, Citizens for Dixie
Karen Jorgensen, St. George Homeowner

The 90 by 20 campaign is asking major utilities in the region to take the “90 by 20 pledge” and to adopt the meaningful but achievable regional benchmark for residential water use of 90 GPCD.

While St. George’s leaders have thus far suggested the city cannot reduce its residential water use close to 90 GPCD, the 90 by 20 campaign is not giving up. The fact that so many communities in the region are already close to the benchmark despite differences in weather, wealth and other factors illustrates just how achievable the goal is.

Water efficiency is especially important in St. George, where leaders are looking for new water supply. Strategies like 90 by 20 are a good first step in order to ensure a community is efficiently using every drop it has.  Achieving the benchmark regionally will save over one million acre feet of water, protect resources like the Colorado River and potentially help reduce future tax burdens, rate hikes and regulations.

Submitted by the 90 by 20 Campaign. The opinions stated in this article are not representative of St. George News.

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  • Omari September 27, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    The water waste here is a total outrage! I had to call the city over my apartment complex having the sprinklers come on 2-3 times DAILY. Flooding the streets and parking lots night after night. Things still were’nt done to fix the problem. We need Vegas-style water restrictions in place in this desert city!

  • STGWaterSmart September 27, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    St. George, please don’t think just because you’re smaller than the above listed regional cities makes you exempt from conserving water. You are located in the same desert as Las Vegas and one of the nations fastest growing areas! I agree with Omari, there absolutely needs to be much stricter water restrictions in place in all of urban Washington County. Businesses and churches have no need for grass at all. It should be mandatory for bussinesses and churches to use xeriscape (rock, native or drought resistant plants) only landscaping, no lawns. Residences should mostly be xeriscape and/or only be allowed to have small lawns either in front or in back of their homes-not both. Apartment complexes should follow suit-mostly xeriscape with occasional grass tot lots for kids play.
    Enough is enough. Washington County’s majority of wasted water goes directly to landscaping and overwatering. With above listed rules put into motion, the talk of an outrageous pipeline from Powell would virtually cease to exist.
    Live in the desert? Then live in the desert.

  • Barb September 27, 2012 at 1:26 pm

    How absurd that the city leaders object this by saying residents couldn’t come close to 90 GPCD when other, bigger cities are nearly achieving it! That right there tells me the city puts no emphasis on conservation and would rather gouge into citizens wallets and pockets for this fantasious pipeline to deliver Colorado River water to the area. Newsfash, city officials: All cities in the SW want water from that same river, so goodluck with that!

  • Karen September 27, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    I couldn’t agree more with the ideas presented in the article. St. George water managers are always making excuses about why we use so much water. I think the people of St. George are going to have to take the lead here. I wish I could attend the event but will be travelling that day. I fully support the ideas and will watch for further information.

    Thanks to Stgnews for writing this article.

  • Doyle September 27, 2012 at 3:35 pm

    I moved here to the desert southwest from the midwest, and although pleasing to the eye, I am alarmed at the the amount of lush greeney around St. George from neighborhoods to golf courses to parks. To think that it all needs water is just mind boggling. It’s amazing that 95 percent or more of the greenery was shipped in and planted by man. In the midwest, the greenery was mainly natural and didn’t need watering.
    This said, I’ve visited other desert communities such as Tucson, Vegas and nearby Mesquite, and there’s something notably different, while they all have one thing in common of being desert cities, the greenery and variety of trees are totally different. You don’t see thirsty mulberry, pistache or ash trees lining streets or in yards in those cities like you do here. Instead you see drought tolerant mesquite, acacia and palo verde commonly used. It seems the city agriculture or botanists need further educated in tree/plant varieties massly used along our streets, highways and parks.

  • Big Bob September 27, 2012 at 8:52 pm

    So what, we run out of water, we run out of water!

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