The following is a message from Mayor Walker from the July/Aug issue of the Draper Forward city newsletter regarding the City's recently adopted changes to landscaping requirements to make them more water-wise. These changes were also discussed in a Draper City Talk podcast episode.
Although record snow has greatly improved drought conditions in Utah this year, let’s face it, Utah will always need to be concerned about water supply. We’re the second driest state in the country, so we can’t expect to maintain landscaping like you find in England.
Draper City recently took an additional step in long-term planning for water conservation as the city council adopted changes to our landscaping requirements to make them more water-wise, including the adoption of Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District’s (JVWCD) standards for water efficiency. The City’s application of these new requirements and standards will be mainly focused on new development but with these changes come additional benefits for current residents and businesses who want to make the change to more water-efficient landscaping.
Some of the changes for landscaping of new single-family and two-family residential development include:
- Turf will be limited to 35% of the landscaped area.
- No turf on slopes over 25% grade.
- No turf area may be less than eight feet wide.
- Homeowners can design their yards using Localscapes® principles.
Among the changes for new commercial, mixed-use, and multi-family development are:
- Turf limited to a maximum of 20% of the total landscaped area
- All plantings except turf require drip irrigation
- Enhanced water efficiency requirements for irrigation systems
Because of the adoption of the JVWCD standards, Draper residents and businesses will now be eligible for a higher rebate for replacing turf with drought-tolerant landscaping. For a full-yard conversion, the incentive increases from $0.75/sq. ft. of lawn converted to water-efficient landscaping to $3.00/sq. ft. A partial yard conversion increases from $0.50/sq. ft. to $2.00/sq. ft. The commercial rate will increase to $2.00/sq. ft. Those interested must create an account at utahwatersavers.com and submit an application to confirm eligibility. Be sure to wait to begin work on a landscape conversion project until after it is approved by Utah Water Savers to maintain eligibility for the rebates.
We hope that residents and property owners will consider changes that could be made to help conserve water, whether that is rethinking your landscape design, reducing the frequency of irrigation, or even simple measures such as taking shorter showers or checking for leaks. The Utah Division of Water Resources publishes a weekly lawn watering guide that is accessible at conservewater.utah.gov or on their Facebook page.
My wife and I converted our yard to drought-tolerant landscaping last year and we have loved the change. Water is such a precious resource. We never want to take it for granted.