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
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.
|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.
|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?
|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.
How to Join the Summit
Residents can watch the Summit in one of three ways:
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.
How to Cut 5% Water Use Outdoors
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
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!
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
"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
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.