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June 12, 2014 06:10 PM

Water Use Stays Same, Despite Growth

Sioux Falls, SD

The city of Sioux Falls keeps growing. With more people, there are bound to be more resources used. But thanks to a conservation effort a decade ago, our water supply is in good shape.

City officials made a decision a decade ago to conserve water and teach residents to do the same. Today, they shared the fruits of those labors.

"We've essentially added the town of Aberdeen to our system, and not pumped out any additional water," Public Works Director Mark Cotter said. 

That's about 30,000 more people, using the same amount of water as before. 

The city attributes these savings to things like the Lewis and Clark Water System and benefits for residents who conserve. People can receive rebates from the city for upgrading to more efficient appliances. They're offering some freebies as well.

"We have a couple of different shower heads to choose from. We have a soil moisture sensor going back to irrigation and making sure you use that wisely. Don't water your yard if you have enough moisture in your soil. Showers. A lot of people have old shower heads that flow a lot of water. These shower heads actually flow less water," Utility Operations Administrator Trent Lubbers said. 

"We consider the conservation program the gift that keeps on giving. If you take the gallons per capita that we're saving per day, add it to the population, we're roughly saving approximately 4 million gallons per day," Water Superintendent Greg Anderson said. 

That gift can add up to big savings for home owners, and less worry about the city's water supply in the future, which is said to be set for the next 30 years.

"If you save water in your home, you're going to use less water so that's going to reflect in your bill. There could be up to 20 to 30 percent savings, depending on what mix of fixtures you pick for your home," Lubbers said.

There are several ways the city of Sioux Falls promotes water conservation. During the summer, there is a three-stage lawn watering restriction.

Right now the city is under Stage one, meaning odd numbered addresses can water on odd days, even numbered addresses on even days. You can't water your lawn from noon to 5 o'clock.

There are also several incentive programs to help make your home more water efficient. You can also pick up get a water conservation kits at city hall, with a showerhead and garden hose nozzle.

To find out how you can get these freebies or a rebate, go to the City's website. 

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