UTAH DROUGHT

Utah governor outlines four ways to conserve water in drought

Jul 29, 2021, 2:34 PM | Updated: 4:38 pm
Utah water conserve...
Utah Governor Spencer Cox announcing four new ways to conserve water amid the drought (Mary Richards)
(Mary Richards)

WEST JORDAN, Utah — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox, along with water managers from around the state, announced Thursday four new ways to conserve water during the prolonged drought. 

Install secondary water meters to conserve water in Utah

Cox said one-third of all residential water connections use secondary or untreated water. But residents can’t gauge how much water they’re actually using. 

“The majority of these are still unmetered,” he said. “You can’t manage what you can’t measure.”

Cox added the areas that have installed secondary water meters have seen a 20%-30% reduction in water use.

According to Cox, the Weber Basin Water Conservatory District has installed 11,000 new secondary meters. He also said legislation passed within the past few years requires meters on new secondary connections.

Better integrate land use and water planning

Another step to conserve water outlined by Cox and water experts is to be more aware of how land usage will impact water sources. 

“How we grow to develop today will set our water use for decades to come,” Cox said. “Really our goal is [that] all new development will be water-wise development in the state of Utah.”

Utah farmers conserve water by implementing better, more efficient technology

Within the past year, efficient water technology saved millions of gallons of water, according to Cox. 

But the cost of water-wise technology can be burdensome to farmers who cannot afford the upgrades. But Cox noted the state government would be willing to help Utah farmers make the transition. 

“We want to accelerate that program to encourage and help farmers use less water and increase their yields,” Cox said. “We have the technology to do that. We have the funds to do that.”

Plant grass wisely

Cox said outdoor water use makes up 60% of the state’s municipal and industrial water use.

Turf buy-back programs help incentivize residents to replace the thirsty grass with water-efficient options. Cox said he would like to expand such programs beyond the local level. 

“We want to be the first state to offer a statewide turf buy-back program,” he said. 

Cox also said residents need to be mindful of where they are planting grass.

“We need to plant grass in areas where it is actively used,” he said. “Rather than using grass as the default ground cover that is only walked on when it is mowed.”

 Read More

Today’s Top Stories

Utah Drought

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative in California. The team consisted of The Salt Lake Tribune, Deser...
Amie Schaeffer

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative wins $20,000 prize in ‘Local that Works’ contest

The Great Salt Lake Collaborative gains national recognition with the top prize in the 'Local that Works' contest. The collaboration is a group of 23 media organizations and community partners focused on the plight of the Great Salt Lake.
2 months ago
Chad Cranney, Assistant Wildlife Manager for the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, pilots a fan ...
Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio and Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News

Many options for helping the Great Salt Lake; the simplest — use less water

Saving Utah's Great Salt Lake has become a vital issue as it sits at it's lowest level in recorded history.
2 months ago
The Great Salt Lake is pictured with a receded water line...
Mark Jones

Water levels are too low for some Great Salt Lake sensors

KSL meteorologist Kevin Eubank says the Great Salt Lake is again at a historic low, and at least one sensor is no longer in the water.
2 months ago
A University of Utah researcher says history cannot offer a complete roadmap when looking for ways ...
Carter Williams, KSL.com

What role can history play in saving the Great Salt Lake, solving Utah’s water woes?

A University of Utah researcher said stories from history can help drive current decisions about the drying Great Salt Lake.
2 months ago
A sign at the Hemenway Harbor launch ramp marks the water line at Lake Mead in 2000, contrasting wi...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News and Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio

‘To Protect and Conserve’: Las Vegas has strict outdoor watering restrictions (with fines!) Should Utah do the same?

When it comes to water use in southern Nevada, it’s common to point to the excess of the Las Vegas Strip as a prime example of waste. But Entsminger said it’s a misconception.
2 months ago
Patricia Council's North Las Vegas yard after her grass was replaced with artificial turf, on Frida...
Ben Winslow, Fox 13 News and Sheri Quinn, Utah Public Radio

Las Vegas ups the ante on turf buybacks: New Nevada law bans all ‘nonfunctional’ turf by 2026

The Southern Nevada Water Authority is paying her $3 a square foot to get rid of her turf, and landscaping crews that contract with the agency are tearing out the grass.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The best tools for Deaf and hard-of-hearing workplace success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
christmas decorations candles in glass jars with fir on a old wooden table...
Western Nut Company

12 Mason Jar Gift Ideas for the 12 Days of Christmas [with recipes!]

There are so many clever mason jar gift ideas to give something thoughtful to your neighbors or friends. Read our 12 ideas to make your own!
wide shot of Bear Lake with a person on a stand up paddle board...

Pack your bags! Extended stays at Bear Lake await you

Work from here! Read our tips to prepare for your extended stay, whether at Bear Lake or somewhere else nearby.
young boy with hearing aid...
Sorenson

Accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing

These different types of accommodations for students who are deaf and hard of hearing can help them succeed in school.
Young woman receiving laser treatment...
Form Derm Spa

How facial plastic surgery and skincare are joining forces

Facial plastic surgery is not only about looking good but about feeling good too. The medical team at Form Spa are trained to help you reach your aesthetic outcomes through surgery and through skincare and dermatology, too.
Utah governor outlines four ways to conserve water in drought