Utah Water Savers offers incentives for water-wise landscaping

Oct 2, 2023, 9:11 AM | Updated: 9:11 am

FILE - Localscaping is the use of native plants and grasses to landscape. (KSL NewsRadio)...

FILE - Localscaping is the use of native plants and grasses to landscape. (KSL NewsRadio)

(KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Replacing your lawn with water-wise native plants and grasses will help you save water and prevent your yard from getting warmer. Utah Water Savers hopes that people are making plans to use less water on gardens and lawns next summer.

The Utah Water Savers program offers fixture rebates and landscape incentives, according to its website

Melinda Bills and her husband used the program to re-design the yard at their home in Midvale. Utah Water Savers connected them with Localscapes, a company that helps with the design and execution of water-wise landscaping. 

According to the Localscapes website, the approach “is a series of landscaping patterns and practices that takes into account Utah’s unique climate.” The company offers rewards through the Utah Water Savers program. 

“There were a couple of things [that] motivated us,” said Bills. Firstly, she said they used to spend hours on yard maintenance, such as mowing the lawn and weeding their garden. 

Secondly, Bills said that since they live on a busy road, she and her husband wanted to add things that gave them privacy. They had tried other solutions. Despite their efforts, she said the yard was still ugly and filled with weeds. 

Bills said designing a landscaping plan was easy. 

“Your plan doesn’t have to be super detailed and you can certainly make adjustments to your plan along the way if you decide you want to [make changes.] It just has to meet the basic requirements of the local scapes program,” she said. 

Bills said that she and her husband switched out their lawn for water-wise plants. They also installed a drip irrigation system, per the program’s requirements. 

“It’s a requirement of the program that if you’re going to water, you have to water using drip [irrigation.] You can’t use overhead watering. I installed all of the drip system[s] myself. It took some time but it was really straightforward and not difficult to do,” Bills said. 

Since they made the changes, Bills said watering her yard only uses half the water it used to. She also said that putting mulch in the flower beds has helped prevent weeds from sprouting. It has made maintenance less time-consuming. 

“Once you put down that big, heavy, layer of mulch it does a great job of keeping the water in and keeping the weeds out,” Melinda said. 

Since their yard’s renovation, Melinda said she and her husband spend a lot more time outside. Instead of spending that time maintaining their yard, however, they spend it enjoying the space. 

“It’s been a game changer for us and I’d do it again in a heartbeat,” Melinda said. 

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Utah Water Savers offers incentives for water-wise landscaping