U.S. Water News Online
PHOENIX -- Tempe and Gilbert are asking residents to save
water by not seeding lawns for winter grass, the first municipalities
in the Phoenix area to turn to voluntary conservation.
Phoenix will declare a Stage 1 drought in January, seeking a
voluntary 5 percent cut in public use, if the Salt River Project
reduces water deliveries by a third to cities in the Phoenix area
next year as planned.
It would be the first drought declaration since the 1980s, said
Tom Babcock, Phoenix Water Department spokesman.
Phoenix city departments are already cutting water by 5 percent.
Tempe will let lawns around city buildings go dormant to conserve,
and Gilbert's Town Council was scheduled vote on a similar plan.
All three municipalities say they now have enough water.
``It seems reasonable for us to at least do something, even though
our water needs for the next year are fine,'' said Tom Gallier, Tempe
water utilities manager.
He's not sure how many residents will participate, but it's the
Keeping winter grass green takes 1,050 gallons per month, given a
15-minute watering every third day, with a flow of seven gallons per
minute, said Karen Young, Gilbert water conservation officer. By
contrast, a dormant Bermuda lawn requires two monthly waterings.
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