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Gov. Cox nixes fireworks on state lands, beginning Tuesday June 8

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah Gov. Spencer Cox has signed an executive order outlining water usage on state lands in Utah, and at the same time he has banned the use of fireworks on state and unincorporated private lands.

Further, the Governor said the state has not ruled out a statewide ban.  In fact, he said he would favor it, if the legislature approved one.

“If things continue as they are right now, I would be supportive of a statewide fireworks ban,” he said.


Calling on Utahns to water their lawns less often

Noting that Utah is experiencing its worst drought in decades (100% of the state experiencing drought), and citing a “dismal” snowpack for the year, Gov. Cox also issued an executive order outlining requirements for irrigation on state land. 


He has ordered all state facilities to reduce watering landscapes to two days per week in northern Utah, and to three days per week in southern Utah. He has asked Utah businesses, municipalities, and property owners to follow the same watering schedule.


He said our grass might not look as good as we want it, but lawns are a lot more resilient than people may expect.  He added that grasses may go into a dormant state, but they won’t die.

He said, “Make yellow lawns great, again.”

(Portions of the lawn in front of the Utah State Capitol are turning yellow as the governor announces watering will be reduced on state property. Photo: Paul Nelson)

The governor also announced the state will be doing many projects regarding water conservation in the near future.  He said he would like to work with state lawmakers about bills that could remove water-consuming lawns from areas where they aren’t needed.

“You see it all the time.  I don’t know that a Burger King needs grass between sidewalks.  That has never made sense in these dry climates,” Cox said.

The state is also taking part in something new to convince people to conserve, and they’re not above shaming people into saving water.  The state’s “Fame or Shame” website is designed to highlight “waterwise behavior, as well as point out water waste.”  Deputy Director for Division of Water Resources Candice Hasenyager said Utahns are encouraged to call out wasteful watering when they see it.

“Residents can go and enter their information, as far as what they saw,” she said.  “They can upload a picture.”

The information is then sent to local water districts to handle the situation as they deem necessary.

She said, “We definitely want to know about it and be able to communicate those issues.”

The Governor’s executive order comes nearly a week after he asked Utahns to, along with conserving water, pray for rain. In mid-March, 2021, Gov. Cox declared Utah’s drought a state of emergency.