UTAH (ABC4) – Amidst Utah’s drought conditions government leaders in Utah are taking measures to conserve whatever water we get.

A new initiative in 11 municipalities in Utah offers discount rain barrels to people in those areas.

According to Utah’s drought monitor, most of the state is in either severe or extreme drought conditions and natural bodies of water are receding.

The goal for all the cities and counties participating is to get people involved in their own water conservation through a new initiative called rain harvest.

“Capturing rainwater is going to be really important to us,” Taylorsville mayor Kristie S. Overson said.

Normally retailing at $140, these areas will only have to pay $55 to own one of their own rain barrels, giving residents the opportunity to conserve water on their own, instead of only relying on legislation.

“It’s also just as important to invest in bottom-up hyper local approaches,” Samantha DeSeelhorst
Associate Planner & Sustainability Analyst for Cottonwood Heights said.

The goal is to get families involved with their own water conservation and be more aware of their water usage.

“It can really be brought to their families and to their kids, and getting kids involved in water conservation and water resources is such a great lesson to learn,” Lisa Hoffman Assistant General Manager Mountain Regional Water said.

These rain barrels capture rainwater from the roof of a home and use a dish that captures some roof sediment and prevent mosquitos from contaminating the water.

This water can be used for water lawns and gardens to cut down on water usage.

“We’re literally using tens of thousands of gallons in a household,” Zach Frankel Executive Director Utah Rivers Council.

And according to a UVU study, using these at a large scale can have an impact on water conservation.

“We could reduce our water demand by 10-20% if we had a really high adoption of rain barrels in the homeowner sector,” Frankel said.

Keep in mind you should avoid drinking this water as roofs can shed and leave sediment.

Residents of Millcreek, Salt Lake County, Cottonwood Heights, Murray, Taylorsville, Herriman, Lehi, Orem, Park City, and Summit County and customers of Mountain Regional Water all qualify for a discount rain barrel, and if you live outside of these areas you can still by one for $83.