SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – Utah’s severe drought prompted Governor Spencer Cox to sign an executive order to conserve water.
The executive order limits water consumption at all state facilities while encouraging all residents to conserve.
“My trees in the parking strip are totally stressed,” Salt Lake resident Eileen Keen tells ABC4.
Keen is feeling the drought impacts, along with 57% of the state, which is in an exceptional drought and 90% of the state is under the highest level of drought.
“We live in a desert and it seems to be getting dryer all the time,” Keen says.
The governor’s executive order prohibits irrigation at state facilities between the hours of 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., requires sprinklers to be shut off during rainstorms, and ensures landscape water systems are operating efficiently while encouraging cities and businesses to do the same.
Some residents are already heeding the advice.
“We are planning to cut back watering the grassy areas,” Salt Lake City resident Ralph Robbins says.
The Utah Department of Natural Resources says every effort helps.
“Everyone conserving makes a difference and so we will be conserving and making sure that water is used efficiently,” Laura Haskell with the DNR explains.
The DNR says limiting lawn watering is one way to conserve.
“It’s applying a half an inch of water to your landscaping is a watering we encourage people to have a good watering to get the deep roots,” Haskell adds.
Keen says there are other ways to help save water.
“I wish people would pay more attention to the water they use and turn off your tap when you are brushing your teeth,” Keen says.
Officials say efforts to save water are now more important than ever.
This winter snowpack reached 81% of normal and the state’s reservoir is down 14% from last year.