Blanding has a population of more than 3,500 people with a history of conserving water that they are proud of, according to Jeremy Redd, the city manager of Blanding.
“People take a lot of pride in the fact that they’re conserving," Redd said. "And letting their lawns get brown and that kind of thing.”
He said Blanding’s water usage in the 2013 water year used 18 percent less culinary water than in 2012. The town’s 2014 water usage isn’t as impressive, but it is estimated to be close.
Located on a mesa with no rivers nearby, Blanding is totally reliant on winter storm water. But even after three years of drought, Blanding has more culinary water in their reservoir than they had this time last year.
“It’s been a combination of people being very careful with the water they use," Redd said, "And also us pumping those wells to help supplement our surface water.”
Redd said their success is mostly due to its citizens’ desire to watch out for each other.
“On bad years we don’t have any irrigation water for farmers and ranchers," Redd said. "And that’s a tough thing and so I think people recognize that their neighbors are suffering and they don’t have the water they need to grow the crops that they need and so people kind of tend to join in with them and not doing as much gardening or as much outside watering.”
He said it’s a huge accomplishment to save so much water without having to place restrictions on its residents.