Lawmaker promotes water conservation, sustainable farming

Nov 10, 2023, 6:07 PM | Updated: 6:48 pm

MORGAN COUNTY — A state legislator says he’s investing a lot of money into making his farmland more sustainable, and he wants other farmers to know the state can help them do the same.

Representative Mike Schultz said these changes can ideally send more water downstream into the Great Salt Lake and help restore wildlife habitat. He’s not the only one doing these things, but he’d like to see more farmers and ranchers get on board.

“You think about in the 1870s when this valley was settled versus today, things are much different,” Schultz said. He started making significant changes to his Croydon ranch in the middle of some severe drought.

“We do have less water today than what we had back then, and we have a larger population that’s growing. And so, you know, it’s important that we find ways to become sustainable,” he said.

Pivot sprinkler systems ensure that he uses about 25% of the water he used to. Schultz says it cost around $750,000 at the time, though now farmers can get half their cost covered through grants from Utah’s water optimization program. He says it’s just one sign of the ways Utahns are changing their approach.

“Even though we had a record amount of water this year, Utahns used so much less water,” Schultz said.

He said he sees the difference in his nearby streams. The other side of his paradigm shift comes here, a field that the previous owners had turned into 400 acres of dry farm.

Schultz said, “This is really critical wildlife habitat, mainly for the wintertime.”

Instead, it’s now turned back into grazing land for cattle part of the year, and for the elk during the winter.

“We’ve learned a lot over the years about grazing and proper ways to graze,” he added.

Some of those lessons for him came with the help of the Division of Wildlife Resources. Its grazing improvement program can help farmers strike a better balance.

Schultz said many farmers are making a shift toward sustainability in Utah.

You can get more information on the state’s grazing improvement program here.

KSL 5 TV Live

Utah's Water

Crews started to burn invasive phragmites Friday....

Mike Anderson

Firefighters burn invasive phragmites in Ogden Bay

Crews started to burn 2,000 acres of invasive phragmites in the Ogden Bay Wildlife Management Area Friday.

6 hours ago

A map shows where the Chief Toquer reservoir will connect to the Ash Creek Reservoir....

Cary Schwanitz

Feds pour $7 million into southern Utah water pipeline project

A project to build a new pipeline that will run from the Ash Creek Reservoir to the Chief Toquer Reservoir received $7 million from the bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

16 days ago

Douglas Emhoff poses with Utah delegates...

Lindsay Aerts

Second Gentleman visits Utah touting federal money to help Salt Lake City’s aging water pipes

The second gentleman of the United States, Doug Emhoff, was in Utah today to help announce a program to replace aging pipes in Salt Lake City.

21 days ago


Emma Benson

South Jordan combats water scarcity with new recycling water technology

As the Utah population grows, so does our need for clean water. One city is aiming to be more water-wise.

21 days ago

The Glen Canyon Dam holds back the waters of Lake Powell in Page, Arizona, on July 18, 2022. Lake P...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Here’s how much Lake Powell is expected to rise this year

Lake Powell is expected to receive a decent bump in the coming months, but experts say it still has a "long way to go" after years of drought.

24 days ago

an avalanche over steep ground and trees...

Lindsay Aerts

Water watchers ‘encouraged’ that this year’s extra runoff could help Great Salt Lake rise

Rain and snow could hit Utah overnight - adding to Utah's already-above-average snowpack.

1 month ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Lawmaker promotes water conservation, sustainable farming