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Water Conservation in Salt Lake County

Salt Lake County is committed to long-term water conservation amid frequent emergency droughts and changing environmental landscapes.

“Water conservation is a critical issue to the well-being of our community as we grow and adapt to the changes our landscape faces.”
— Mayor Jenny Wilson

 

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2022 Water Summit

The 2022 Water Summit is a 4-week series highlighting important water issues facing Salt Lake County and its residents. The series will be held on Tuesdays at 2 p.m. during the County Council Work Session on the following dates:

Tuesday, March 29

2022 Snowpack: The Dire Story Snowpack Tells Us

Salt Lake County's Watershed Manager, Robert Thompson, shares the 2022 Snowpack Report and what's in store for SLCo as we head into the summer months.

Watch the Summit Recording: Snowpack

2022 Snowpack Presentation Slides

2021 SLCo Water Report

Tuesday, April 12

Water Legislative Policy Breakdown

Michael Shea, Salt Lake County's Sustainability Director, walks through water legislation passed during the 2022 Legislative Session and discusses how it will shape future water policies for Salt Lake County and impact our residents.

Martin Jensen, Salt Lake County Parks & Recreation director, discusses proactive, ongoing water conservation and smart management efforts in place at parks and recreation centers around the County, as well as additional drought-centric plans and deferred maintenance.

Water Legislative Policy Breakdown Presentation

Watch the Summit Recording: Legislative Breakdown and Parks & Rec Water-Saving Efforts

Tuesday, April 26

What's Happening with the Great Salt Lake and Why It Matters

Concerned about low water levels of the Great Salt Lake? Laura Vernon, from the Great Salt Lake Advisory Council, gives the inside scoop on the Lake. What should we be concerned about? How can we do our part to make a difference in the Great Salt Lake's future?

Presentation by Laura Vernon

Watch Week 3 of the Summit

Tuesday, May 3

Reducing our Outdoor Water Footprint

Cynthia Bee, a landscape architect and outreach coordinator at Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, talks about reducing your water footprint by 5,000-8,000 gallons a year by rethinking your outdoor living spaces.

Salt Lake County will propose more water savings solutions to further reduce its own footprint.

Presentation by Cynthia Bee

Presentation: Salt Lake County Park Strips Proposal

Watch Week 4 of the Summit: Flip Your Strip

How to Join the Summit

Residents can watch the Summit in one of three ways:

  • In Person: The Summit will take place at 2 p.m. during County Council Work Session at the Government Center in Suite N2-800
  • Livestream: Tune into the County Council livestream at 2 p.m. on Facebook
  • Video Recap: View Summit video recordings each week posted here at slcoh20.org
Presentations from each week's experts will be linked on the website for access. Timing, topics, and presenters are subject to change.
 

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Salt Lake County's Conservation Commitment Continues

Salt Lake County has 159 facilities and serves residents in lots of different ways.

New construction is being built with water conservation in mind. The County works with the municipality where facilities are located to meet local code and strives to achieve water-wise strategies.

For our older, existing facilities there's more to be done. We're working to plan out long-term updates that are fiscally responsible and within our budget.

Our Parks & Recreation division has been a leader in its industry, capturing efficiencies and protecting County assets, for example:

  • It installed a central irrigation system to help manage and control parks water use, according to a Utah State University benchmark for healthy turf in Salt Lake Valley.
  • Since 2018, Salt Lake County has been able to conserve 30% less than recommended water usage to care for turf.
  • Salt Lake County's six golf courses total over 1,000 acres. All are managed with central irrigation systems to conserve water based on weather-related needs.

While Salt Lake County has already taken many conservation steps, we intend to do more in response to worsening drought conditions in our ever-changing environment.

Salt Lake County had a goal of reducing its water use by 5% in 2021. Salt Lake County operations cut 13% of its water use through the heaviest use months of May-October in 2021.

In 2022, our operations continue additional waterwise measures started in 2021 to conserve water, including:

  • Waiting to start outside watering until May 15 or later.
  • Reviewing watering plans in each agency and continuing to water one less day a week for the entire season based on 2020 watering schedules.
  • Watering only between 8 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • Monitoring sprinklers weekly to ensure they are watering lawn and plants, not the sidewalk or parking lots.
  • Maintaining sidewalks and parking lots with brooms or leaf blowers, not a hose, to keep walkways looking their best.

 

Challenge to Residents

Salt Lake County wants to challenge residents to also conserve more water this year, by cutting 5% of your own water use.

There are more than 1.16 million residents in Salt Lake County. If 25% of residents reduced their water use by 5%, Salt Lake County as a whole would save about 2 MILLION gallons of water per day.

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How to Cut 5% Water Use Outdoors

TIP #1: It’s Not Mist-ifying ... You Can Cut Sprinkler Use by 10%

TIP #1: It’s Not Mist-ifying ... You Can Cut Sprinkler Use by 10%

What does a 10% reduction in sprinkling look like?

It's as simple as cutting one day out of your watering each week.

 
TIP #2: Don’t Be in Hot Water ... Water at Night

TIP #2: Don’t Be in Hot Water ... Water at Night

Did you know watering your lawn is more effective at night? You lose a lot of water due to evaporation during the hot sun of the day – as much as 20%-30%.

Do something that saves you money + water.

 
TIP #3: Get a Broom!

TIP #3: Get a Broom!

Your neighbors don’t want to see it, and neither do we. Don’t clean your driveway with a garden hose; use a broom to sweep it instead. Sweeping will first loosen dirt and grime, which will decrease your water use and save you time.

 
TIP #4: If It’s Hitting Cement, It’s Lawn Gone

TIP #4: If It’s Hitting Cement, It’s Lawn Gone

"Waterever" you do, don’t water your sidewalks or driveway. Your grass and plants get no benefit and the water gets wasted. Adjust your sprinklers to maximize the important areas they water!

 
TIP #5: There’s Planted Evidence

TIP #5: There’s Planted Evidence

An easy way to conserve water at your home is to have a drought-resistant landscape. There are so many flowers and plants native to Utah and the desert that will keep your yard looking lively, beautiful and save water! Visit a local nursery to find the best ones to fit your landscaping or the Conservation Garden Park website for ideas.

 

Water Conservation Resources