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City of Phoenix, ASU to pilot new water conservation program

(Pixabay Photo)

PHOENIX — The city of Phoenix is looking to pilot new technology that could reduce lawn water usage by up to 45 percent.

The city’s water services department announced Thursday they were the recipient of an approximately $100,000 grant by the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation for an innovative water conservation program.

“With the successful completion of the pilot, there is potential to extend the technology to other areas within the city of Phoenix,” Phoenix water services director Kathryn Sorensen said in a press release.

In partnership with Arizona State University, the city will use 12 acres of soccer fields on the ASU West campus.

The project will involve injecting water-absorbing polymers called hydrogels into the turf.

Hydrogels can absorb up to 400 percent of their water weight and can release almost 96 percent of the water back into the turf as needed.

It will take approximately six to eight weeks to apply the hydrogels across the fields, but they’ll last for five to seven years.

According to the release, the soccer fields currently consume 11 million gallons of water per year, which costs $63,500.

With the implementation of the program, the city expects to save 4.4 million gallons of water and $25,400 per year. The savings could equate to 22 million gallons and $127,000 saved over the life of the pilot.

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