Utah embarks on comprehensive water conservation plan

Utah Gov. Cox discusses water conservation plans.

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.”

Chart highlighting Utah's cwater conservation measurers
Diagram from Utah Governor’s Press Release

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.

Deborah

Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

2 thoughts on “Utah embarks on comprehensive water conservation plan

  1. These drought conditions are becoming the new normal it seems. Of the four point plan Gov. Cox highlighted, the turf buyback program stands out to me. Turf for the most part is wasteful, and if you can incentivize people to give it up, it will help. I see that’s what they are doing in Las Vegas with the rebate program for turf, and it seems to be working.

  2. I never realized that secondary water meters could create savings of 20-30%. That is significant. This Turf buyback program seems like a great solution as well. I am learning a little bit more every time I visit this site.

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