LOCAL NEWS

Utah farmer invests in irrigation now to save water for his family in the future

Mar 14, 2022, 6:47 PM | Updated: Jun 19, 2022, 9:22 pm

SYRACUSE, Utah – Drought has forced Utah farmers to make tough decisions as we head into spring and summer. 

One farmer has already invested in a new watering system so he and his family can save water for the future.

Willard Bay right now is about 60% lower than it was this time last year. Couple that with some less than stellar snowpack and this summer could be very similar to what we saw a year ago. 

We may take for granted the produce in our grocery stores that makes its way onto our dinner tables. 

“We’re definitely in a drought cycle and it’s really hard,” said Kenny McFarland. He is one of the many farmers who make up Onions 52, in Syracuse. 

Now that he is headed for a third year of drought he’s doing things differently. 

“We’ve changed the crops that we grow and we’ve also changed the way that we water our crops,” he explained. 

Over the past six years, he’s switched his hundreds of acres of onions to drip irrigation which cut down the amount of water lost through evaporation, sending it directly to the crops. It was expensive. 

“It depends on the crop, how much it conserves,” McFarland said. “A general number that I’ve come up with is about half of the water.” 

It works well with onions, but not with all crops.  

McFarland said tough decisions have to be made now in future housing developments and in how we water. 

“I’m young enough that I’m concerned for the next 35 years. That’s really what keeps me up at night – is what are my kids going to do to be able to farm successfully,” he added. 

McFarland believes homeowners should be able to use their water, just as farmers have their water rights. But he said, better planning needs to happen before Utah’s growth gets out of hand. 

“It is really up to state and local governments and also water providers to make sure that in 20,30, 100 years from now, we are sustainable as a community,” he said. 

Many water districts still have to decide on water restrictions for the season, and it could still change depending on how the next several weeks develop. 

Still, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District has said they anticipate cutbacks in agriculture watering of around 40%. 

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

Utah's state Route 24 on June 23, 2022. (NPS)...
Larry D. Curtis

Flood watch over popular Utah recreation areas Sunday

A flood watch is in effect over central southern Utah, through Sunday night, as thunderstorms create potentially dangerous conditions.
16 hours ago
Hundreds of protesters marched in Provo for abortion rights....
Michael Locklear

Hundreds protest in Provo to demand abortion rights

A crowd of roughly 300 people gathered in Provo Saturday night to demand abortion rights.
2 days ago
A structure fire nearby the Rio Tinto Stadium. (Credit: Scott Jones)...
Michael Houck

Gymnastics business burns near Rio Tinto during RSL game

Sandy Fire crews battled against a 3rd alarm structure fire near the Rio Tinto Stadium during the Real Salt Lake game Saturday evening.
2 days ago
A head on crash between a pick-up truck and a car. (Credit: UHP)...
Michael Houck

Police: One man dead, one in hospital after a crash in San Juan County

One man is dead, and another person is in the hospital after a head-on crash in San Juan County, according to Utah Highway Patrol.
2 days ago
A sign hangs in the offices of the Planned Parenthood Federation of America(Photo by Mario Tama/Get...
Michael Houck, KSL-TV & Associated Press

Planned Parenthood, ACLU sue over Utah abortion ban

'We are forced into motherhood'; Planned Parenthood and the ACLU filed a lawsuit against Utah's trigger law banning most abortions in the state.
2 days ago
FILE PHOTO: Utah County Attorney David Leavitt is pictured at a press conference in Salt Lake City ...
Michael Houck

Utah County Commissioner clarifies ‘incorrect’ quotes used in Leavitt mailers

Utah County Commissioner Ameilia Gardner sent a statement clarifying a possible endorsement of Utah County Attorney David Leavitt sent to local residents.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

hand holding 3d rendering mobile connect with security camera for security solutions...
Les Olson

Wondering what security solutions are right for you? Find out more about how to protect your surroundings

Physical security helps everyone. Keep your employees, clients, and customers safe with security solutions that protect your workplace.
Many rattan pendant lights, hay hang from the ceiling.Traditional and simple lighting....
Lighting Design

The Best Ways to Style Rattan Pendant Lighting in Your Home

Rattan pendant lights create a rustic and breezy feel, and are an easy way to incorporate this hot trend into your home decor.
Earth day 2022...
1-800-GOT-JUNK?

How Are You Celebrating Earth Day 2022? | 4 Simple Ways to Celebrate Earth Day and Protect the Environment

Earth Day is a great time to reflect on how we can be more environmentally conscious. Here are some tips for celebrating Earth Day.
Get Money Online...

More Ways to Get Money Online Right Now in Your Spare Time

Here are 4 easy ways that you can get more money online if you have some free time and want to make a little extra on the side.
Lighting trends 2022...

Lighting Trends 2022 | 5 Beautiful Home Lighting Trends You Can Expect to See this Year and Beyond

This is where you can see the latest lighting trends for 2022 straight from the Lightovation Show at the Dallas World Trade Center.
What Can't You Throw Away in the Trash...

What Can’t You Throw Away in the Trash? | 5 Things You Shouldn’t Throw in to Your Trash Can

What can't you throw away in the trash? Believe it or not, there are actually many items that shouldn't be thrown straight into the trash.
Utah farmer invests in irrigation now to save water for his family in the future