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With Lake Mead water levels down, water conservation needed

Rory Van Poucke, general manager of Apache Sun Golf Club in the San Tan Valley, said the golf course is shut down from May to September to save water and expenses. (Photo by Jiahui Jia/Cronkite News)

Rory Van Poucke, general manager of Apache Sun Golf Club in the San Tan Valley, said the golf course is shut down from May to September to save water and expenses. (Photo by Jiahui Jia/Cronkite News)

SAN TAN VALLEY – The Arizona drought is affecting businesses and homeowners, who are urged to take measures to save water.

The water level for Lake Mead is a key indicator of how much the drought has affected Arizona, according to officials for Central Arizona Project. The lake last week was at its lowest level since Hoover Dam was built in 1936, according to Chuck Cullom, who oversees the Colorado River program for the CAP.

Lake Mead helps supply water to millions of people in Arizona and is a major recreation area.

“If we are doing nothing, the lake will continue to fall lower and lower. Eventually there will be insufficient water,” Cullom said.

Business leaders and homeowners are being asked to do their part to curb water use.

“If we were opening during the summer, the water bill will be probably double, to around 50 to 55 percent of our costs,” Van Poucke said. “We save probably 25 percent to 30 percent of our expenses.”

Arizona residents also can save water in simple and inexpensive ways, water experts said.

“The most water usage in your house is your toilet. Toilets can use up to six gallons per flush,” said Carol Ward-Morris, assistant director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

She suggested residents to change their old toilets to those that have a “WaterSense” label.

“Those toilets are going to use only 1.28 gallons of water,” Morris said.

Residents who don’t replace toilets should look for leaks, she said.

“Leaking flappers lose up to 200 gallons of water a day. Simply fixing the flapper can save you water and money,” Morris said.

“It’s small steps that we can all take to help and ensure we have supplies that we need for the future,” Morris said.

4 comments

  1. ““The most water usage in your house is your toilet. Toilets can use up to six gallons per flush,” said Carol Ward-Morris, assistant director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association.

    almost all toilets today are at the most 3.5 gallons per flush ,and those are getting fewer, most are 1.5 gallons
    where is this assistant director of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association getting here toilet info from?

  2. Definitely shouldn’t let up on the conservation efforts! Everyone should get something like this http://greywaterrecyclingsystems.com/product/catchbasin/ then they wouldn’t have to worry about wasting water on lawns

  3. Purchasing a new toilet for your home or business? Get the best performing model by checking out Maximum Performance (MaP) testing. Go to http://www.map-testing.com for the up-to-date flush performance data and design information on almost 2,700 different WATERSENSE high-efficiency toilet models from 80 DIFFERENT BRANDS!!….all INDEPENDENTLY TESTED by laboratories NOT connected to any manufacturer. Click on ‘MaP Search’ to use the free search tool OR download complete product listings.

    MaP development was sponsored by WATER UTILITIES IN THE U.S. AND CANADA in 2003 to give consumers a means to compare actual flush performance among all the many toilet models available in the marketplace. You can download a complete list of all U.S. EPA WATERSENSE toilet models, OR you can do a ‘search’ of the database by specifying the exact characteristics you need (such as round front vs. elongated bowls, elevated height bowls vs. standard bowls, one-piece vs. two-piece toilets, and so on).

    All of this is entirely FREE and found at http://www.map-testing.com.

    NOTE: MaP DOES NOT SELL TOILETS…..it merely has them tested and reports the results free-of-charge to the public.

  4. To marc…..

    Ward-Morris is correct. In fact, there are many 3.5, 5.0, and 7.0 gallon toilets still installed in Arizona. Those definitely need to be replaced with the better-performing, more efficient WaterSense models.

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