GOVERNMENT

Salt Lake County to use less water, asks residents to do the same

Apr 22, 2021, 1:42 PM
Las Vegas pushes to become first to ban ornamental grass...
Sprinklers water grass near a street corner Friday, April 9, 2021, in the Summerlin neighborhood of northwest Las Vegas. A desert city built on a reputation for excess wants to become a model for restraint with a first-in-the-nation policy limiting water use by banning grass that nobody walks on. Las Vegas area water officials are asking the state Legislature to pass a law banning "non-functional turf." (AP Photo/Ken Ritter)
(AP Photo/Ken Ritter)

DRAPER, Utah — Salt Lake County officials are hoping to lead by example when it comes to conserving water.

Salt Lake County is looking to lead by example

County operations are planning to cut their water use by at least 5% this year. It’s part of a new “H2O” initiative, which according to Mayor Jenny Wilson, includes getting you to take part in your home.

“Saving water doesn’t need to be hard, it can be quite easy,” she said at a press conference Thursday. “You don’t have to overhaul your lifestyle, you just have to make some tweaks to how you do things.”

For example, county leaders are asking residents to water their lawn one less time per week or to take quicker showers. With enough people making these small changes, it can lead to significant results, according to Mayor Wilson.

“If just 25% of residents reduce just 5% of their water use, we could collectively save about two million gallons of water every day,” she said. “We can do more. We can do more at Salt Lake County and we can do more as a community.”

An “exceptional” drought continues

The initiative comes in response to the State of Utah’s Emergency Drought Declaration in March. Experts say most of the Wasatch Front is still in an “exceptional” drought, which is the most severe drought designation.

“Our snowpack is well below average, even after the precipitation in March and April,” said Robert Thompson, Salt Lake County’s Watershed manager. “Water conservation is paramount in addressing mounting water availability concerns.”

The new county initiative comes in addition to existing efforts in place, which include water-efficient design at newer facilities and strategic water use at parks and recreation operations.

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Salt Lake County to use less water, asks residents to do the same