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Water conservation is a hot topic as consumers search for ways to save a few gallons here and there, and think about their water consumption more wisely.

Did you know?

You're already far more efficient than your grandparents, or even your parents. Innovations in home building, technology, appliances and more have made our homes and cities more energy efficient. Just like a home built today has more efficient windows, and modern air conditioners use less energy to cool a home, your home uses less water today.

Consider Arizona, with its massive population growth over the last several decades. According to the Arizona Department of Water Resources, the state consumed about seven million acre-feet of water in 2013 — that's water for drinking, watering lawns, showering and irrigating our crops and fields.

Curious how much water Arizona consumed in 1957?  7.1 million acre-feet.

While our population today is more than 6.58 million, we're using less water today than we did in 1957, when just 1.1 million people called Arizona home. It's a testament to smarter water management and innovation.

Here are some of the ways why we're using water more smartly today:

  • The CAP: The Central Arizona Project revolutionized the way water was managed and distributed in Arizona. The first delivery of water from the Central Arizona Project came 30 years ago, on May 22, 1985. Today, CAP water accounts for approximately 22% of Arizona's total water usage.
  • The Groundwater Management Act: We wouldn't have the Arizona Department of Water Resources to regulate our water supply if it wasn't for the Groundwater Management Act, which was signed in 1980. Among the Act's regulations are a requirement that developers demonstrate a 100-year supply of water before a new development is built in most areas of the state and a limitation on the amount of groundwater that can be pulled from the aquifer, promoting the use of surface water over groundwater.
  • The Energy Star Program: A program created in 1992 by the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Energy, Energy Star certifies products that consume less energy than their counterparts. To receive an Energy Star seal, an appliance must use 20-30% less water than federal standards. Dishwashers and water heaters are among the types of appliances that can receive Energy Star designation.
  • Low-Flow Fixtures: Showerheads, faucets, toilets, clothes washers and dishwashers that emit less water are, well, fixtures on the shelves of today's home-improvement stores. These new devices can use 25-60% less water.

What you can do

If you want to reduce your water consumption, or just make your home more efficient:

  • Check your irrigation system: In Arizona, it's estimated that 70% of a family's water consumption happens outdoors. Check your lawn or garden's irrigation system. Look for leaks and water wisely (don't over-water).
  • Get drought-conscious: Consider planting drought-tolerant plants that don't require as much water to thrive, and adjust your irrigation timer as the seasons change.
  • Fix those leaks: A leaky toilet can waste hundreds of gallons of water every month. If you hear a toilet continually running, do something about it.
  • Invest in new fixtures: Low-flow toilets, showerheads and faucets consume significantly less water. It's one of the fastest ways to reduce your home's consumption. And energy-efficient dishwashers can also help reduce your electric bill, too.
  • Get a conservation kit: Feel like learning more? Order a conservation kit from us, and brush up on your conversation knowledge.