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UAW strike continues: Officials say EPA standards must catch up; Mississippians urged to register to vote ahead of the Nov. 7 general election; NYers worry about impacts of government shutdown.

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Senate leaders advance a plan to avoid a government shutdown, an elections official argues AI could be a threat to democracy and voting rights advocates look to states like Arizona to rally young Latino voters.

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A small fire department in rural Indiana is determined not to fail new moms and babies, the growing election denial movement has caused voting districts to change procedures and autumn promises spectacular scenery along America's rural byways.

FlipBlitz Program Converts Grassy Utah Landscapes to Curb Water Use

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Thursday, May 19, 2022   

After two decades of drought and with no relief in sight, many Utahns are looking for ways to conserve water, and for many residents, part of the solution could be right in their front yard, thanks to a state program.

The Utah Division of Water Resources has joined with several local water-conservancy districts for a second year of "FlipBlitz," a process providing incentives to convert grassy lawns to water-wise landscapes.

State and local officials kicked off the second year of the program this week by demonstrating how small changes on the ground can make a big difference in water use.

Shelby Ericksen, water conservation coordinator for the Division of Water Resources, said it is a simple process.

"Taking out the grass and replacing it with water-wise landscape and converting from usually spray heads and park strips to irrigation for the plants," Ericksen outlined. "That's estimated to save 5,000 to 8,000 gallons of water per year on each of those park strips."

Ericksen pointed out park strips and other grassy areas can be hard to water efficiently, and often result in wet sidewalks and wasted water. She explained the program plans to convert more than 120,000 acres in 20 locations across the state, to demonstrate how small changes can bring big water savings.

Ericksen added while the program currently is in a demonstration mode, they are planning a major expansion later this year.

"We are actually in the process of building a statewide grass-removal program," Ericksen emphasized. "That will be rolled out in the fall in the form of rebates for residents in Utah."

She stressed the program is helping Utahns to plan more efficiently and be responsible stewards of water, while preserving the state's beautiful landscapes.

"This is a voluntary program," Ericksen remarked. "It started with the Division of Water Resources, and then we've expanded to include some of our local water conservancy districts. So it's really cool that it's led by government to try to get more examples and to try to switch out their park strips."

For more information, go to UtahWaterSavers.com.


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