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'Taking the H2Oath': Local businesses pledge to cut back on water

Posted at 9:02 PM, Jun 28, 2021
and last updated 2021-06-29 00:14:22-04

Recognizing the need to conserve water in Utah, local businesses joined forces to publicly announce their efforts to implement water-wise practices.

Along with Merit Medical Systems, OC Tanner and Stadler Rail, Ivory Homes has been looking at ways to conserve and cut back on water use in their new properties for some time now.

“About four years ago at Ivory Homes, we decided we were going to try to move the needle with ‘localscapes’ on as many homes as we could every year,” said Chris Gamvroulas, President of Development with Ivory Homes. “In all the homes we are landscaping, which is about 600 homes a year, we’re doing what is called ‘localscapes’ or waterless landscaping.”

Gamvroulas says that every 600 homes that are "localscaped" can save nearly 33 million gallons of water per year.

The concept of localscaping was designed specifically to help Utahns to save water within their landscaping. On properties that Ivory Homes doesn’t implement the practice, they share some resources with the new homeowners to help them work towards their own water-wise landscaping.

READ: Local experts offer free classes, resources to create water efficient landscaping

“As Utah is experiencing this unprecedented drought, we all need to do our part to protect and efficiently use this resource that we have,” said Derek Miller, President of the Salt Lake Chamber.

Miller, along with the local businesses and Governor Spencer Cox, launched the “Water Champions H2Oath" — a program that encourages businesses to publicly commit to improved water conservation and water-wise practices.

Miller mentioned that businesses can participate by visiting the Chamber website and signing on to take the pledge. Businesses are agreeing to audit and repair all landscape irrigation systems, implement leak-detection and repair programs for both indoor and outdoor water use, and shut off systems manually during rain and wind events in areas without sensors.

“Our water supply is not endless, and it is important for all us to change our behavior to conserve this essential resource,” said Miller.

Cox is encouraging businesses to lead the state of Utah on water conservation practices.

“We understand it can be difficult based on the size of business but there are little things that everyone can do,” said the governor, who mentioned that many businesses have grass around their properties that are purely decorative and could be places where watering should be cutback. “They make our buildings beautiful without using excessive water, without having lush green grass everywhere. There are ways we can do this better.”

Cox is also encouraging residents to cut back on watering to roughly two-times per week.