SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Utah is in extreme drought. Candice Hasenyager, Deputy Director for the Utah Division of Water Resources tells ABC4’s Daily Dish that 100% of Utah is listed as a drought zone.
According to SlowTheFlow.org, droughts are among the most financially burdensome of all weather-related disasters. The consequences of drought are far reaching and not always immediate. For example, failed crops can impact food prices well into the future. Devastated domestic livestock and wildlife herds can also take many years to recover.
Utah is currently relying on water, stored in reservoirs, from previous years. State water experts say they don’t know how long this drought will last, it’s out of our control. But what is in our control is how we respond and what we do today to conserve water for the future. Simple things done today to reduce water use make a big difference for Utah’s future water supply. Hasenyager says even with the recent rain, our drought situation is very serious. Utah relies heavily on snowpack for it’s water – however, rain and snow both play important roles. If we get the rain we need in the summer and fall then our soil moisture levels will allow snowpack runoff to enter the streams and reservoirs rather than get absorbed by dry soils.
Water conservation efforts are helping, according to Slow The Flow coordinators. Utah’s water monitors say they’ve seen a 20% reduction in water use statewide.
Drought’s are considered a “creeping disaster” because its exact onset and end often cannot be identified until long after the event has come and gone. Drought in the West is a combination of high temperatures and low winter snowpack. Drought in the East is caused by a lack of precipitation in the summer.
If we want to mitigate the long lasting effects of drought, Utah water experts say everyone has to make a change and slow the flow today. You can water less, prioritize your watering, and raise your mower so you have taller grass. Now is the perfect time to prepare your yard for the cooler seasons by watering even less and keeping the length of your grass longer – this will help grass roots grow deeper and result in healthier grass.
SlowtheFlow.org has a lot of cost-free water saving tips:
OUTDOOR: Don’t water when it’s windy, water at the right time, prioritize your watering. Raise your mower, taller grass means deeper roots that can access deeper water. Get a rebate for smart irrigation controllers and low-flow toilets
INDOOR: There are also simple things you can do to save water indoors too, like not letting the water run when you’re brushing your teeth, washing dishes or vegetables, or shaving; fix leaks; run full loads in your dishwasher and washing machine; and take shorter showers.
There are plenty of ways to save. Visit slowtheflow.org for more conservation tips.