We've had some good water-saving ideas. How about you?

By ADOT Communications
Inside a restroom at the Sacaton rest area

Elsewhere people talk about saving for a rainy day. But in Arizona rainy days can be hard to come by, which is why we all have to talk about saving water.

As part of Gov. Doug Ducey's call for a culture of conservation around this most precious of desert resources, ADOT is taking a hard look at what we can do better.

In recent years, we have made water-saving improvements across our 28 rest area sites, nearly all in remote locations and relying on wells. Improvements include lower-flow sinks with metered faucets, waterless urinals, more water-efficient flush toilets, and replacing liquid soap with foam, which requires less water to rinse. On-site caretakers email photographs of water meters each day so managers can look for spikes that indicate leaks.

These changes, also instituted at our ports of entries and maintenance facilities, are now saving more than 40,000 gallons of water per day across our rest area sites. On average, rest areas saw their water use drop by about a third.

Sinks inside a restroom at the Sacaton rest area

Now that's not too shabby in and of itself, but it's also created side benefits such as reducing pressure on septic tanks due to less wastewater and shaving 25% off the power usage of the equipment to move and treat water.

An ADOT employee contest also revealed other practical water conservation changes, such as employees at Grand Canyon National Park Airport doing monthly water meter checks, installing a thermostat that halved water usage by the Deck Park Tunnel's cooling system and even pointing out a leaky faucet in a bathroom.

We've had some good ideas, but are also open to more. If you see water waste on ADOT projects, at ADOT facilities or along state highways, we want you to tell us about it by going to azdot.gov/contact and filling out the online form or calling the phone number for General Non-Motor Vehicle Inquiries.