Water Conservation

Utah's Water Conservation Progress Thus Far

Utahns are on their way to reducing their water use by at least 25 percent.  The Division of Water Resources (DWRe) conducts a statewide water use study every 5 years.  The latest 2010 study indicates that water use statewide is at 240 gpcd.  This is about an 18 percent reduction from the year 2000 (295 gpcd) water use.  The data shows that the state is ahead of the projected reduction trend line.  However, a lot of work still needs to be done in order to reach our statewide goal!  Prior to 1990, water use steadily increased with the state’s population.  However, efforts by the DWRe, the state’s major public water suppliers, the creation of the “Slow the Flow: Save H2O” campaign, and the push for Utah residents to conserve water, total M&I water use no longer increases as the population grows.  If Utah’s residents still consumed the same amount of water as they did in 2000, public water system deliveries would be about 162,000 ac-ft/yr more than the actual current amount of about 738,000 ac-ft/yr.  This amount of water is greater than the capacity of Pineview Reservoir, (110,000 ac-ft) near Ogden.  Utahns have responded well to the water conservation efforts.  However, more needs to be done to reach the State’s 25% reduction goal!

Why We Need to Conserve Water

Utah is one of the three fastest growing states in the nation.  From 2000 to 2010, Utah’s population increased by more than 500,000 people to about 2.8 million.  At this rate, Utah is adding another city about the size of Salt Lake City every three years.  According to the Governor’s Office of Planning and Budget, Utah’s rapid growth will continue, with the population more than doubling to 6.8 million by 2060.  Because of this rapid growth there will be an increase in demand of all natural resources, especially water.  The Utah Division of Water Resources (DWRe) plans to meet future water demands by using several strategies.  The most cost effective of these strategies is water conservation.  The state has a goal to reduce per capita water use by at least 25% by the year 2025.  This would reduce our per person water use (gpcd)to a more sustainable 220 gpcd.  It would save over 500,000 acre-feet (ac-ft) every year.  That is almost enough water to fill Jordanelle and Deer Creek reservoirs!

Note: Population growth rankings are estimated from 2000-2010.

Utah Drought Monitor

Reasons to Conserve Water

Limited water supply in Utah

To help meet future water demands

To improve water levels in reservoirs.

To postpone large water projects from having to be constructed.

To delay expensive capital investments to upgrade or expand existing water facilities.

To reduce sewage flows, delaying the need for more wastewater treatment facilities.

To conserve energy as less water needs to be treated, pumped, and distributed to the consumer.

To lessen the leaching of chemicals and sediments into streams and aquifers.

To keep a more sustainable way of life, balancing human needs with that of the natural environment.

Download this information (and more!) in a handy brochure format from the Division of Water Resources website.

Conservation Tips

Below are some links to sites that offer conservation tips.