Utah leaders look to Israel for water management and solutions

May 2, 2023, 4:00 PM | Updated: 4:38 pm

Utah lawmakers and elected officials recently took a trip to Isreal to see how the country effectiv...

The Antelope Island marina is dried up as the Great Salt Lake experiences record low water levels on Friday, July 22, 2022. (Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah isn’t alone in its diminishing lake full of salt water, drought issues and a big farming industry that uses a lot of water resources. Israel is in the same boat. 

Utah elected officials and policymakers recently made a trip to Israel lto learn about how water issues are managed and solved there. 

Joel Ferry, Executive Director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources, and attendee of the trip joined KSL at Night hosts Maura Carabello and Taylor Morgan on a recent episode to discuss what was learned. 

Ferry begins the conversation by saying there are many similarities between Israel and Utah. Such as a persistent drought. That said, he does point out a big difference in size. Utah is around seven to eight times bigger than Israel. 

“Agriculture is the largest consumer of water,” Ferry said when discussing similarities between the two places. 

To combat this, Israel has implemented drip irrigation systems. Drip irrigation is a controlled water delivery system to plants through a network of tubes or pipes, according to the Dictionary webpage

“That’s one of the main things we went over there to learn about is the drip irrigation they use and have really mastered and are constantly improving,” Ferry said. 

Additionally, he points out that the country has the Mediterranean Sea to utilize through desalination. Through this knowledge, Ferry says Utah can look to do the same to certain water resources. 

“Down in St. George for example or Washington County, there are some springs that are very saline,” he said. 

Ferry goes on to say that it was very notable how the Israeli government works alongside businesses with water conservation efforts. 

“Now the real work begins to start to modify some of the practices we’re doing here,” Ferry said. 

KSL at Night can be heard most weeknights from 7 to 9 p.m.

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Utah leaders look to Israel for water management and solutions