Utah (ABC4) – Utah is experiencing a drought as 100% of the state is experiencing moderate drought, and 90% of the state experiencing extreme drought.

Utah Governor Spencer Cox has even issued an executive order, declaring a state of emergency in Utah.

Amidst the drought, the discounted rain barrel program will return for Millcreek, Murray, Park City, and Salt Lake County watershed residents.

According to the Utah Rivers Council, they are proud to announce the highly anticipated return of the popular RainHarvest program for 2021 with Millcreek, Murray, Park City, and the Salt Lake County Watershed offering discounted rain barrels.

Residents of these municipalities can pre-purchase rain barrels for a greatly subsidized price of $50, while supplies last, with rain barrels available to residents outside of Millcreek, Murray, Park City, and Salt Lake County boundaries for $75.

Rain barrels are usually priced at $129 retail price. Residents can pre-purchase discounted rain barrels can do so now at www.utahrivers.org/rainharvest.

“Our residents in Millcreek eagerly await the annual program with many returning to purchase their second or even third barrel,” says Millcreek Mayor Jeff Silvestrini. “Harvesting rainwater is a good way for us to better conserve water, especially during this historic drought. Collecting rain, using it, and not letting it become stormwater also reduces demand on our system. I encourage everyone to do what they can to reduce water usage. Setting up a rain barrel is a great way to start.”

Collecting rainwater is a good way to save water in our cities and improve water quality at the same
time, the Utah Rivers Council shares.

Rain barrels collect water from roofs through home downspouts, allowing the water to be used
days later on in gardens or yards.

“Installing rain barrels on downspouts that drain to driveways, alleys, and other areas that flow into
storm drains, will help reduce the amount of runoff entering local streams,” said Bob Thompson, Salt Lake County Watershed Section Manager. “This protects water quality since storm drains flow directly into our streams and rivers! Less runoff also protects streams from the excessive erosion
caused by ‘flashy’ high flows during storms.”

Water conservation will be very important this year. The Utah Rivers Council’s RainHarvest program says they have partnered with municipalities to distribute 4,924 rain barrels to Utah residents since 2015, meaning that 246,200 gallons of water are saved every time it rains enough to fill a 50-gallon barrel.

After the barrels are pre-purchased online, residents in Millcreek, Murray, and Salt Lake County can
pick up their rain barrels on Saturday, May 1 at Millcreek City Hall. Residents in Park City can pick up their rain barrels on Sunday, May 2, with the location in Park City still to be determined. Rain barrels will not be shipped to residents.

Volunteers will be at the pickup locations to teach participants about the importance of rainwater harvesting and other water conservation strategies that people can take during this state of emergency.