UTAH DROUGHT

Secondary water metering proving to be useful for conservation

Oct 10, 2022, 4:00 PM
Water meter cover is shown, secondary water metering will take effect in 2030...
A water meter cover is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020. (Laura Seitz/Deseret News)
(Laura Seitz/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — As water companies prepare to cut off secondary water systems for the fall, a new tool is helping track secondary water use for conservation.

Utah’s secondary water systems are typically unmetered. But the Utah Division of Water Resources said water meters are now a vital tool for water conservation.

In May, Utah’s rules about water usage changed. H.B. 242, passed during the last legislative session, requires irrigation companies to install water meters for pressurized secondary water.

Michael Sanchez from the Utah Division of Water Resources said metering secondary water can make a huge difference in conservation.

“If you look at things like secondary metering, we didn’t know how much water we were actually using, which is kind of kind of silly… You can’t really manage what you can’t measure. I think we’re making major strides in water conservation.”

Some districts have already implemented meters, even though the bill doesn’t require them until 2030.

Sanchez said these meters have already helped reduce water use in the Weber Basin Water Conservatory District.

“Just by letting people know how much water they’re using, they’ve seen a 20 to 30% reduction in water use within their area,” Sanchez said.

The meters are purely educational, but their impact on water conservation is very real.

Related: The saline lakes of the Great Basin and why they are in trouble

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