As July came to a close, Utah’s Gov. Spencer J. Cox joined water officials from around the state to highlight current conservation efforts and outline measures needed to plan for Utah’s water future. According to a press release published on July 29, 100% of the state was experiencing drought conditions.
“This drought has caused all of us to reevaluate how we conserve and motivated us to do more,” Gov. Cox said. “So many Utahns are doing their part to save water, which is fantastic, but there’s much more we can do.”
Highlights of Utah’s Water Conservation Plan.
Utah’s water agencies are developing a comprehensive state water plan that builds on the previous version developed by the Division of Water Resources. The governor announced four focus areas the state will fast-track to further advance water conservation and water planning:
- Install secondary water meters statewide: Areas that have installed secondary meters — including Spanish Fork, Saratoga Springs and Weber Basin Water Conservancy District — have seen a reduction in water use by about 20-30%.
- Integrate land use and water planning: As one of the fastest growing states in the nation, water needs to be a key consideration of any new development. The state is enlisting the help of local officials in adopting water efficiency standards for all new development.
- Continue investing in agricultural optimization: Over the last few years, about $7.3 million has been invested in agricultural optimization for research and projects. Continued investment will help the state improve agricultural water use practices, create benefits for farmers, optimize water use, and protect water quantity and quality for all uses in the system.
- Establish a statewide turf buyback program: Outdoor water use makes up about 60% of municipal and industrial water use. Turf buyback programs like Jordan Valley’s “Flip Your Strip” program help incentivize people to replace thirsty grass with waterwise options.
Image Source: Utah Governor’s Website.