For nearly two decades, “Water – Use It Wisely” campaign has shown the way

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For nearly two decades, “Water – Use It Wisely” campaign has shown the way
January 25, 2018

For many years it has been clear that Arizonans are not much in need of lectures urging them to conserve water. This is the state, after all, that today is using less water than it did in 1957.

They are, however, hungry for knowledge. What are the best ways for the average resident of Arizona to conserve water?

It is that (ahem) thirst for reasonable and effective water-conservation ideas that has been the driving force behind the “Water – Use It Wisely” campaign, a nearly two-decade-old effort to provide Arizonans with meaningful tools for efficiently limiting water-waste.

One of the largest water-conservation movements of its kind in the country, the Water – Use It Wisely campaign began in 1999 as a joint effort by Mesa, Scottsdale and Phoenix. Its operating principle then was the same as it is today: “Don’t’ tell us to save water. Show us how.”

Today, 20 partners help fund a regional “Use It Wisely” program.

In addition to the founding members, the partnership now includes Tempe, Peoria, Chandler, Buckeye, Glendale, Avondale, Goodyear, Surprise, Queen Creek, Flagstaff and Fountain Hills, as well as the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, Central Arizona Project, Global Water Resources, EPCOR Water and Salt River Project.

And it doesn’t stop there. Municipalities and organizations that have signed on to promote the campaign’s messaging now include Bullhead City, Gila Resources, Lake Havasu City, Sedona, Yuma, the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Cochise Water Project, Gilbert, Luke Air Force Base, Tucson, Rio Verde, El Mirage, Granite Oaks Water Users Association, Prescott Valley, Water Casa and the town of Safford.

And, of course… us. The Arizona Department of Water Resources is a proud Regional Campaign Steering Committee partner in the Water – Use It Wisely campaign.

Over the years, the campaign has accumulated almost 200 tips for conserving water.

They range from self-evident tips from the kitchen:

#2: “When washing dishes by hand, don’t let the water run.” And:

#12: “Reuse leftover water from cooked or steamed foods to start a nutritious soup.”

To the laundry room:

#19: “Washing dark clothes in cold water saves water and energy.”

To (yes, inevitably) the bathroom:

#38: “Take 5-minute showers instead of baths. A full bathtub requires up to 70 gallons of water.”

Truly inventive water-savings tips seem to arise out of doors. Such as when caring for your lawn:

#87: “If walking across the lawn leaves footprints (blades don’t spring back up), then it is time to water.”

And, of course, when caring for a home’s single largest source of water use, the swimming pool:

#127: “Use a grease pencil to conduct a bucket test to check for pool leaks. An unnatural water level drop may indicate a leak.”

The Water – Use It Wisely campaign has evolved far beyond merely compiling a helpful water-conserving list.

The campaign has developed a 10-part video series for transforming your home’s landscape “from drab to fab” by employing water-saving xeriscape techniques. And it has compiled a substantial “toolkit” of tips, guides, ideas and products for conserving water and saving money in the process.

With its 2018 campaign season kicking in. Water – Use It Wisely is actively seeking new partners, and not just more companies and communities. Individuals can sign up for the campaign’s monthly newsletter, an “oasis of water conservation tips, money-saving advice, how to’s, local landscaping workshops, events and more.”


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