UTAH DROUGHT

Utah leaders ask businesses to contribute to water conservation amid Colorado River shortage

Oct 4, 2022, 3:00 PM

Colorado river is pictured, its water supplies Utah but it is running out...

The Colorado River is pictured in Page, Ariz., on Sunday, March 28, 2021. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah leaders are calling on businesses to join the growing water conservation efforts in the state as water from the Colorado River is in short supply.

Colorado River Basin states, like Utah, are feeling the pain of less water flowing into the Colorado River. As of last year, the river’s water flows were less than half the 23-year average.

Gene Shawcroft, Chair of the Colorado River Authority of Utah said our population is driving higher demand for water.

“We know we’re growing, we know we’re going to continue to grow. Our water supply isn’t going to grow at the same rate that our population is going to grow.”

Shawcroft and other state leaders called on businesses to do what they can, even if it seems like a small contribution.

Shawcroft said the water we get from the Colorado River solely depends on the snowpack.

And the snowpack has varied from 22 million acre-feet of water in the 80s to only 10 million other years.

The drought has played a huge hand in recent years since Utah isn’t guaranteed a fixed amount, only 23% of what’s available to the upper basin.

While agriculture still takes up the vast majority of our water, leaders hope conservation measures will help decrease demand. 

“We can’t control mother nature, we don’t know if she’s going to provide 6.3 million acre-feet or 22. But what we can do is we can control our demands, we can control how much water we use,” Shawcroft said.

Related: Water levels indicate that Utah’s water conservation efforts are working

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Utah leaders ask businesses to contribute to water conservation amid Colorado River shortage