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Jason Olson, Deseret News
Rebecca Bingham takes notes at the Conservation Garden Park at Jordan Valley in West Jordan, site of Saturday's Utah Green Festival.

Jordan Valley Conservancy District is holding the Utah Green Festival on Saturday at the Conservation Garden Park at Jordan Valley in West Jordan, an event intended to show people how to live a sustainable lifestyle.

The festival is geared toward reducing Utah's carbon footprint. Experts will show how to reduce environmental impact by teaching people how to buy energy-saving appliances, use solar panels, recycle, be efficient with regards to transportation and conserve water.

The district's part in the festival is teaching how to conserve water. Bart Forsyth, assistant general manager for Jordan Valley Conservancy District, said saving water is important for future growth in Utah. Because of its importance, the district has a park dedicated to water-wise plants and landscaping.

Saving water is synonymous with saving energy, Forsyth said. He said moving water expends a tremendous amount of energy, from pumping to treatment. He said 15-20 percent of energy used in Utah is water-related.

"Delivering water is energy-extensive," Forsyth said.

About 2/3 of water used is for landscaping, which is where the greatest potential to conserve exists.

"An average home uses 50 inches of water per year on yards" because of inefficient irrigation practices and water-thirsty landscaping, Forsyth said.

The park has sections dedicated to showing people how to conserve water in the desert climate.

Phase one of the park showcases the drought-tolerant and climate-adjusted plants and landscaping. Forsyth said people are surprised at the variety and color of plants that use less water.

Phase two, which will be completed in 2009, is more interactive, with classes on composting, landscape design, proper irrigation and timer use, as well as how to build the components of an irrigation system.

He hopes the festival will get people involved in saving water by using ideas they learned at the park.

The Utah Green Festival is from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday at 8215 S. 1300 West in West Jordan. Admission is free.

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