SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The Salt Lake County Council approved spending $8.4 million on water conservation projects at the county council meeting Tuesday.

The project would convert three sports fields in Murray to artificial turf and flip 142 parking strips at 40 different county facilities.

This means parking strips would be converted to drought-resilient plants and designs. The field conversion and strip flipping projects are estimated to conserve 11 million gallons of water annually, according to Salt Lake County Parks and Recreation.

While the council members voted in favor of the projects at the meeting Tuesday, two county residents spoke out against converting the sports fields to artificial turf, questioning the environmental impacts of the artificial turf… and how it could impact the health of children who play on it.

But Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson said the environmental impacts and safety of the artificial turf have been discussed in the several meetings held on the issue.

“We decided to explore the safety the efficiency around artificial turf. And we learned there are no more injuries on artificial turf than regular grass,” said Wilson.

She emphasized water conservation is a priority for the county, as the state continues to face a multi-year drought.

“What we really want is people to take note, see the change we’re making, see the investment, and make the change on their own,” said Wilson.