Gary Bedsworth, chairman of the Mayor's Advisory Task Force on Water Conservation, said in a report released Friday, Aug. 4, that Payson's water conservation efforts could lead to additional water-saving opportunities.
The current water conservation program is hailed statewide as a model policy -- Payson's residents use 87 gallons per day instead of the 187 siphoned away daily by Valley consumers.
But the town could save even more by improving its code.
"When properly executed, water conservation practices can save thousands of gallons of water per person per year," said Bedsworth.
The Payson Water Department's current policy, including conservation levels and water-wasting rules, is outlined in the town code.
The water conservation task force released the following findings and code amendments this week for presentation to the Payson Town Council:
- Payson's programs and resources place the town ahead of many communities in Arizona; however, some materials are outdated and need revision.
- Rainwater is of the highest quality. Unlike water captured in dams that require treatment, rainwater stored appropriately represents a sustainable source of water ideal for use inside and outside the home.
- Harvesting water from a 2,000 square-foot roof delivers 1,246 gallons of water for every inch of rainfall.
- Dish, shower, sink and laundry water comprise 50 to 80 percent of residential wastewater that could be used for other purposes, especially landscape irrigation.
- Xeric (low-water) plants use about one-third the water of the high-water plants half the water of the medium-water plants.
- Many xeric plants can survive without any water other than normal precipitation.
- Hot water recirculation systems can save more than 16,000 gallons of water per year for the average household.
The town should:
- Develop recommendations, standards and provide incentives for rainwater harvesting; gray water usage; hot water recirculation; and xeriscaped landscaping.
- Revise the building codes to require these practices.
- Provide information and incentives to retrofit existing houses and business for water conservation.
- Establish a common xeric plant list with the High Country Xeriscape Council.
- Provide the xeriscape information to the Chamber of Commerce and local plant retailers for dissemination to the public.
- Improve the areas surrounding the town to reflect colorful xeric plantings.
- Develop and publish local rainwater statistics for use in water harvesting system design.
-- To reach Felicia Megdal call 474-5251 ext. 116 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
List of mayoral task forces
Editor's note: This is the list of Mayoral Task Forces and members as of mid-July.
Admin. Policies, Procedures
Citizen Generated Goal Plan
Tamra and Steve
Cari and Greg Day
Steve or Monica Williams
Jim and Nancy Bradley
Design Review Committee
Al Poskanser (Linda)
Tim and Nancy Nelson
Dr. Wayne Gregory
Russ & Mary Goddard
Payson Truck Route
Bill and Carol Michaelis
Public Safety Transition
Parks and Recreation