DSU faculty, staff hope to compete in water conservation contest

Photo by Madison Anderson.

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The Utah Division of Water Resources held their annual “H2Oath Water War” from Oct. 3 to Oct. 20 among the universities in Utah at a chance to win a $5,000 grant.

The contest urged students, faculty and staff to make a conscious effort to conserve water by taking the oath and whichever university collects the most signatures wins.

A few of the pledges include:

  • I will adjust my sprinklers to avoid spraying sidewalks and driveways.
  • I will reduce my shower time by at least one minute per shower.
  • I will wait until I have a full load to run my dishwasher or washing machine.

Todd Adams, deputy director of the Utah division of water resources, said Utah State University earned this year’s win.

Dixie State University didn’t participate due to a miscommunication between the university and the Utah Division of Water Resources over who was supposed to be contacted to spread the word about the contest. However, DSU is making its own strides towards conserving water on campus.

The grounds crew have started to replace the grass near the science building with xeriscaping to limit water use. DSU is aiming to continue reducing water usage by fixing the sprinkler systems.  Faculty and staff are looking to make sure the sprinklers are turned off when it has rained and regulating the amount of water reaching the sidewalks.

DSU faculty and staff are looking forward to participating in the contest next year; in the meantime, Bart Peacock, director of facilities operations and energy, encourages those on campus to be aware of the need to conserve water and to get involved year-round.

“Living in the desert, people need to be water conscious and doing the small things can add up to a bigger impact,” Peacock said.

Peacock said he would like to see more students learn and help with water conservation in the community by joining the sustainability club on campus. Students can join the club online or attend their meetings Thursdays at 3 p.m. in the gardener living room.

Library paraprofessional Tracey O’Kelly shared her insight on the effects of overwatering.

“People feel like because they use water that came straight out of the river, that it is just going to go straight back to the river, so they don’t need to worry, but we still do,” O’Kelly said. “One of the things people don’t understand is that each time you water your grass with nutrients such as fertilizers and chemicals, all of that gets washed down in the river and pollutes our water.”

Those interested can still sign the oath at Water.Utah.gov/H2Oath ahead of next year’s contest, which will be held again in October.