Event Title

Understanding Water Conservation

Location

Space Dynamics Laboratory

Event Website

http://water.usu.edu/

Start Date

3-25-2004 2:00 PM

End Date

3-25-2004 2:20 PM

Description

Water conservation is an important issue for municipalities throughout the United States West as they wrestle with how to supply enough water to meet growing urban demands. Many communities along Utah=s rapidly expanding Wasatch Front face serious water shortages within the next decade. Residential and commercial landscape watering could be one of the largest sources of conservation. Assessments by plant scientists indicate that water savings generally can be achieved with little loss in amenity characteristics of landscapes because people generally overwater. Utah water officials are trying to find the most appropriate ways to encourage water conservation, which requires understanding the factors that contribute to overuse. The authors report on two interdisciplinary research projects that focused on landscape water conservation. The first research project dealt with water use practices on school grounds (institutional landscapes) in the Granite School District in the Salt Lake Valley (Kilgren 2001). The second research project dealt with water use practices on residential and commercial landscapes in Layton, Utah. Both projects brought together interdisciplinary expertise in plant physiology (Kjelgren and Kilgren) and social science (Endter-Wada and Kurtzman) and involved collaboration between the Center for Water Efficient Landscaping (College of Agriculture) and the Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Program (College of Natural Resources). The second research project (Layton, Utah) also incorporated irrigation engineering and included researchers (Neale and Farag) from Biological and Irrigation Engineering (College of Engineering).

In both studies, landscape water needs were determined and then compared to actual landscape water use; this was accomplished by utilizing data on landscaped area, ETo for plant material, and water use records. This analysis gave the researchers an independent measure of the variability in water use and helped them to identify which schools, households, or businesses applied water to their landscapes in excess of evapotranspiration rates. Researchers surveyed the people directly responsible for landscape watering (custodians, household residents, and business owners, managers, or landscapers). The surveys obtained information on values, perceptions, behaviors, incentives, and irrigation system characteristics and were aimed at explaining variability in landscape water use.

Summarizing key findings from these two research projects, the presenters: compare water use in residential, commercial, and institutional (school) settings; highlight common determinants of water use and distinguish factors that are particular to certain settings; and, discuss benefits of the interdisciplinary research designs that enabled them to begin building a model of urban landscape water use that integrates human, ecological, and technological components.

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Mar 25th, 2:00 PM Mar 25th, 2:20 PM

Understanding Water Conservation

Space Dynamics Laboratory

Water conservation is an important issue for municipalities throughout the United States West as they wrestle with how to supply enough water to meet growing urban demands. Many communities along Utah=s rapidly expanding Wasatch Front face serious water shortages within the next decade. Residential and commercial landscape watering could be one of the largest sources of conservation. Assessments by plant scientists indicate that water savings generally can be achieved with little loss in amenity characteristics of landscapes because people generally overwater. Utah water officials are trying to find the most appropriate ways to encourage water conservation, which requires understanding the factors that contribute to overuse. The authors report on two interdisciplinary research projects that focused on landscape water conservation. The first research project dealt with water use practices on school grounds (institutional landscapes) in the Granite School District in the Salt Lake Valley (Kilgren 2001). The second research project dealt with water use practices on residential and commercial landscapes in Layton, Utah. Both projects brought together interdisciplinary expertise in plant physiology (Kjelgren and Kilgren) and social science (Endter-Wada and Kurtzman) and involved collaboration between the Center for Water Efficient Landscaping (College of Agriculture) and the Natural Resource and Environmental Policy Program (College of Natural Resources). The second research project (Layton, Utah) also incorporated irrigation engineering and included researchers (Neale and Farag) from Biological and Irrigation Engineering (College of Engineering).

In both studies, landscape water needs were determined and then compared to actual landscape water use; this was accomplished by utilizing data on landscaped area, ETo for plant material, and water use records. This analysis gave the researchers an independent measure of the variability in water use and helped them to identify which schools, households, or businesses applied water to their landscapes in excess of evapotranspiration rates. Researchers surveyed the people directly responsible for landscape watering (custodians, household residents, and business owners, managers, or landscapers). The surveys obtained information on values, perceptions, behaviors, incentives, and irrigation system characteristics and were aimed at explaining variability in landscape water use.

Summarizing key findings from these two research projects, the presenters: compare water use in residential, commercial, and institutional (school) settings; highlight common determinants of water use and distinguish factors that are particular to certain settings; and, discuss benefits of the interdisciplinary research designs that enabled them to begin building a model of urban landscape water use that integrates human, ecological, and technological components.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2004/AllAbstracts/4