OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – As the drought continues to impact Utah, local governments are thinking of cool ways to conserve water. Weber County is making some changes at the Weber County Sports Complex which should save more than 1.1 million gallons of water by the end of the year.

“We made the decision if we’re going to conserve water this is a great place to start,” Weber County Commissioner (R) Gage Froerer tells ABC4 while standing on the ice at the Ice Sheet.

Froerer says local leaders are taking the drought seriously and are making two big changes at the Ice Sheet to save water.

He says one of those is “not to cut the ice out, or take the ice out, this year which they typically do once a year. Take it out, do minor maintenance repairs, put it back in.”

Froerer explains that the Ice Sheet foregoing the annual melting of the NHL rink’s ice for maintenance will save nearly 508,000 gallons of water.

He says another big change comes with the facility’s Zamboni. The iconic piece of machinery cuts ice multiple times a day at the Ice Sheet’s two ice rinks. Cutting ice smooths out the surface in between uses. Froerer says this uses about 150 gallons of water each time. This year, facility management is cutting back on cutting ice.

This means the ice will not be as smooth as usual and there will be more snow left on the ice. However, Froerer says there is nothing to worry about. “As a former hockey player,” he states while pointing to the recently cut ice. “We love to see this fresh ice because it makes it a lot easier to skate, funner to skate, but the average skater is not going to notice a lot of difference.”

Froerer says altogether, the Ice Sheet should be able to reduce is water consumption by 1.1 million gallons by the end of the year.

He says the water used by the facility is city water that can now be used by Ogden residents and hopes they will follow the county’s lead.

“It’s all about encouraging people not to waste water. Use what is necessary, make sure that they are very diligent on their water preservation on their yards,” he adds.

The Weber County Sports Complex has already made a few other changes to help conserve more water long term. These include touchless faucets and some low-maintenance landscaping.