How to tackle Utah’s extreme drought with water conservation

Good Things Utah

We are in extreme drought conditions, on track to be potentially the worst-on-record. Candice Hasenyager from the Utah Division of Water Resources came by to share tips on how to conserve water for Utah’s Extreme Drought.

Drought Watering Habits

Northern Utah – 2x per week

Southern Utah – 3x per week

Water Statistics

Quarter acre yard:

One less watering = 3,000 Gallons of water saved

60% of residential water is used on outdoor landscapes

Statewide Reservoir Levels

As of June 1, Levels are lower than this time last year, 21 out of 42 of our largest reservoirs are below 55%. 

As extreme drought continues to plague the state, the Utah Division of Water Resources has replaced its traditional lawn watering guide with an “Extreme Drought Watering Guide” to encourage “survival watering”

-The “Drought Watering Guide” encourages minimal watering to keep grass alive:

– Two times a week in northern Utah and three times a week in southern Utah.

The goal during extreme drought conditions isn’t lush landscapes but rather “survival watering” to keep high-value plants alive like trees and shrubs. The grass is resilient and can survive with as little as 1″ of water a month. It won’t be green and will enter dormancy during times of drought and high temperatures but will recover when conditions improve

The Drought Watering Guide recommendations are consistent with Gov. Spencer Cox’s June 8 Executive Order.

The watering guide is found on the division’s water conservation website.

Extreme drought means Utahns must look for ways to reduce water use.

-Eliminating just one watering, can save about 3,000 gallons for the average quarter-acre Utah yard.

-60% of residential water is used on outdoor landscapes

-Using water efficiently is always the best practice and saves money. But during

extreme drought, it’s critical to help stretch the water supply.

-More drought actions and water-saving tips can be found at slowtheflow.org

We need everyone to save water starting today. So please, do your part and do it now. It’s the little changes that will make a big difference.

-If we each do our part we all save together.

General Messaging

We are preparing for exceptionally poor to potentially worst-on-record water supply conditions this summer.

-As of June 1, statewide reservoir levels are lower than this time last year, with 21 out of 42 of our largest reservoirs below 55%. Some reservoirs are doing okay but others could run dry this season.

Yes, we can get through the summer. But we are in extreme drought conditions – which impacts everything.

-Drinking water suppliers have multiple sources of water and those supplies will provide drinking water through the summer.

-Our landscapes will struggle, but our faucets will run.

How long this drought lasts is out of our control. What’s in our control is how we respond – and we need to use less water to stretch our water supply.

-Little changes make a big difference. That’s why we are asking Utahns to reduce watering to two times per week in northern Utah and three times in southern Utah. Sod will yellow, but it’s resilient and will bounce back.

-Visit slowtheflow.org for more water-saving tips.

Find more information at Water Conservation’s website.

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