BOISE, Idaho (AP) — An increased emphasis on conservation and education along with more efficient appliances are contributing to a decline in water use in Idaho's biggest metropolitan area. The Idaho Statesman reports that water use in the Treasure Valley last year was down about 30,000 gallons annually for each metered customer compared to 2000 consumption.

Overall, that's about 2.5 billion gallons annually and enough water to serve an additional 29,000 customers. Over the last decade, the state's largest water market has taken steps to reduce consumption.

Five years ago, Boise opened the WaterShed Environmental Education Center, which has raised more than $1.2 million and educated about 100,000 people about conserving water. Mark Snider of United Water — the state's biggest water provider — says similar trends are occurring in water markets nationwide.