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

May 9, 2022, 4:34 PM | Updated: Jun 10, 2022, 11:04 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — 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.

With all of the rain and snow Utah has received recently, it’s clear that most people in northern Utah don’t need to start watering yet. But even for those who pay close attention to the weather, it’s not always easy to know when landscapes need water.

“A lot of people will start their sprinklers a little too soon and start watering when it doesn’t need it,” said Laura Haskell, drought coordinator for the Utah Division of Water Resources.

With Utah’s reservoirs 10% lower than a year ago, Haskell said Utahns need to save water wherever they can.

“Just to be aware of all of your water use,” she said.

Many Utahns woke up to wet landscapes Monday morning. Utah’s mountains and even Flaming Gorge got more than a dusting of snow.

So, how much longer should people wait to water?

“People sometimes think that their landscaping, and their lawns in particular, need more water than they do,” Haskell said. “Sixty percent of our residential water use can be used outside, so, if we can cut back there, it’s big savings.”

The weekly lawn watering guide has the answer. It’s based on local weather, and right now, only recommends one watering per week in central Utah, and two waterings in southern Utah.

“If it hasn’t been very hot, and your vegetation, your plants, and grass is looking OK, then go ahead and leave it,” the drought coordinator said. “But check that lawn watering guide.”

Utah Water Savers has rebate information on smart controllers, turf buyback programs and even low flow toilets. Check the website to find out which rebates you are eligible for.

The drought coordinator told KSL the long-range forecast is for a hot summer.

“So, we want to save as much water as we can right now when our plants are enjoying this cool weather and a little bit of rain so that we can have it in July and August when it is really hot and they really need it,” Haskell said.

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