Governor Cox Plans More Aggressive Water Conservation Measures

Jul 29, 2021, 5:44 PM | Updated: 7:45 pm

WEST JORDAN, Utah Even though Utah is receiving incredible rainfall in some parts of the state, the drought is far from over. So, Governor Spencer Cox plans to get aggressive about saving more water.

In a press conference today, the Governor said every water district statewide has reported significant water savings this year compared to the same time last year. But, due to the historic drought, everyone needs to do more, and it all starts with outdoor watering. That’s where 60% of Utah’s water goes.

Using the Conservation Garden at Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District as a backdrop, the governor focused on fast tracking water conservation.

He wants meters installed on secondary water systems statewide, which includes 1/3 of all residential customers. The majority of those connections are unmetered, and you can’t manage what you don’t measure, the governor said. According to state statistics, areas that have installed secondary meters reduced water usage 20 to 30%.

He also thinks water efficient landscape ordinances should be required from any development proposal. His goal: all new development will be water wise.

Governor Cox also wants to start a statewide turf buyback program to encourage all of us to replace some turf with water wise plants. He believes it would be the first state wide turf buyback program in the country.

“We need to plant grass in areas where it’s actively used, rather than using grass as the default ground cover that’s only walked on when it’s mowed,” Cox said.

That’s one of the core principals at the Conservation Garden. They haven’t completely eliminated turf grass from the garden, but they have replaced much of it with water wise plants.

“You can save about 2/3 of the water over a traditional landscape that’s all turf grass,” said Bart Forsyth, general manager at Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. “So, the curb appeal is great. The functional use of the yard is wonderful, and that’s exactly what I think Utah homeowners want.”

Many Utahns have already removed grass from parking strips which are inefficient for watering.

Right now, Utah’s water agencies are developing an expanded state water plan. And, that will be critical. The water manager at Jordan Valley Water tells me he’s very concerned about next year, as our water resources continue to shrink. That’s why it’s so important to turn off our sprinklers whenever we get some rain.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Utah Drought 2021

Leia Larsen, The Salt Lake Tribune

Lawn gone: ‘Localscaping’ may save water, but can it rescue the Great Salt Lake?

The idea is catching on in cities as Utahns shift their thinking about landscaping. The trick is ensuring enough water trickles downstream.
14 days ago
Follow @https://twitter.com/jellis9...
Josh Ellis

Church to reduce watering at temples, meetinghouses across West

Lawns and landscapes at some temples and meetinghouses of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints may be allowed to brown and become dormant as the Church reduces watering across the American West.
2 months ago
FILE: (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)...
Madison Swenson, KSL TV

Eagle Mountain residents encouraged to water twice a week

Residents in Eagle Mountain have been encouraged by city officials to water their lawns twice per week due to rising temperatures.
2 months ago
(Mike Anderson/KSL TV)...
Mike Anderson

Utah firefighters train and prepare for hot, dry summer

There's a high potential for several wildfires as drought conditions continue to plague Utah, and firefighters from eight different counties are working together to prepare for the upcoming fire season.
2 months ago
Matt Gephardt & Cindy St. Clair, KSL TV

Thousands complain of water waste – but how is it enforced?

Lots of people are not afraid to call out water wasters. But are those complaints to water officials investigated? And does anything happen to stop the waste? KSL Investigator Matt Gephardt went fishing for answers.
3 months ago
The East Bench of Salt Lake City receives a dusting of snow the morning of May 9, 2022. (Jed Boal/K...
Jed Boal, KSL TV

Drought coordinator: Hold off on watering; consult the weekly lawn watering guide

The cool, wet spring Utah is having is exactly what the state needs in the midst of this historic drought. The wet weather won’t really make a dent in the drought, but it can help everyone save water, if we take advantage of it.
3 months ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Governor Cox Plans More Aggressive Water Conservation Measures