Land & Environment

Researchers Investigate Conservation Impact of USU Water Check Program

By Taylor Emerson |

Video by Taylor Emerson, Digital Journalist, University Marketing & Communications

USU Extension’s Water Check Program recently teamed up with researchers from the Utah Water Research Laboratory to investigate how to help make the program more effective.

The Water Check Program is a free service that is aimed at helping residential users and landscape managers learn how to irrigate their landscapes more efficiently.

By a thorough evaluation, a water check can identify needed repairs and inefficiencies that may lead to excess water use — an important consideration here in Utah because, according to the Utah Department of Natural Resources, “we are either in drought or preparing for the next one, so we always need to use our water wisely.”

By using 5-second water use data collected with Flume Smart Home Water Monitoring devices, the research team looked into household water use before and after water checks.

What they found was that after receiving a water check, 59 households collectively reduced their outdoor water use by 626,000 gallons — or 1.9 acre-feet of water. This was achieved by a reduction in the number of irrigations per day, reducing each irrigation’s duration, and increasing the number of days between irrigations. In addition, over-waterings were reduced, which meant participants decreased watering to more closely match what their landscapes needed.

The research team now hopes to follow up on this study with an additional one to examine, among other things, if these habits persist over time and determine if people are continuing to be water-wise year after year.


Taylor Emerson
Digital Journalist
University Marketing and Communications
(435) 797-2262


Kelly Kopp
Director, Center for Water Efficient Landscaping
Water Conservation and Turfgrass Specialist, Extension

David Rosenberg
Civil and Environmental Engineering


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