How to Manage Water Issues in St. George, Utah


In the deserts of the southwestern United States, water is indeed scarce; therefore, engineers and conservationists have worked hard to utilize the natural sources already existing and also to build reservoirs and dams to sustain and monitor water consumption.  This article presents how to manage water issues in St. George, especially targeting Washington County in southwestern Utah.

Municipalities of Washington County run campaigns of public relations and regulations to teach people how to manage their water issues.  They encourage residents to conserve water. Such city laws include the prohibition of watering lawns and gardens between 10am and 6pm when the sun’s energy is optimal for quickly evaporating grass water and dehydrating the ground.  There is little sense to watering your lawn at mid-day when it’s 100 degrees outside; your sod will absorb very little, and the rest changes to vapor to make clouds somewhere, sometime. What’s more, you pay for your water; there’s no free runoff to irrigation water from the mountains like the lucky folks in Northern Utah have.  For this reason, the vast majority of citizens of Washington County water their lawns at night and during early morning hours. The water bill can be a burden, especially if you have a swimming pool.

Artificial Turf or Rocks

Many residents of Washington County have resorted to installing artificial turf in their yards or laying rocks over weed block fabric to prevent weeds.  The rock matches the desert landscape, does not need water, and is very low maintenance. The artificial turf/carpet can be whatever color you want, though green is the commonest.  Not as cool as real grass, but kind of pretty, and it does not require watering.

Virgin River

The towns of Washington County would not exist, were it not for the Virgin River from the mountains of Zion National Park.  Mostly from natural springs, the Virgin River in some places is just a trickle, and in other spots a small, but real river. The water departments have employed measures to harness the lifeblood of the Virgin River by pumping it to two reservoirs: Quail Creek and Sand Hollow.  Here water treatment facilities prepare potable water for residents to use from the kitchen faucets, bathe in, and keep their gardens and lawns thriving.

Sand Hollow Aquifer

The Sand Hollow reservoir’s bottom allows its water to seep down to the watery caves of the Navajo Sandstone Aquifer, a huge underground storage of lakes and creeks extending through several states.  The Sand Hollow water replenishes the aquifer with the water from the Virgin River to ensure availability of water to meet future needs.

Flash Flood Preparation

Managing water issues of St. George, Utah includes preparation for flash floods.  Yes, occasionally, water will fall from the skies of Washington County, about nine whole inches per year.  Because of its rarity, little has been done to expect it and divert it. In 2005, heavy rains filled the Virgin to overflow, washing away yards and destroying 30 homes.  The community and churches responded admirably with clean-up crews and thousands of hours of volunteer work to restore parks and other damaged property. In 2010, heavy rain poured for a few hours one day, rushing down sloped roads to houses.  It flooded many yards, causing people to hurriedly place sandbags at strategic boundaries. Berms of soil buildup can divert rushing water, and concrete retaining walls have saved many properties in Washington County.

So, how to manage water issues in St. George, Utah requires thoughtful conservation of the scarce water and preparation for the occasional flash flood.

How to manage water issues

How to Manage Water Issues in St. George, Utah

Article By: Clear Content Marketing