Drought Returns to Utah; Conservation is Needed

The past couple of good water years may have lulled us into a sense of complacency, but this year Mother Nature has reminded us that we still live in a desert.

The wet, cool weather during April helped increase the scanty snowpack, but most of the state is still in line for a “severe or moderate drought,” according to an article in the April 26 Deseret News. A report released on April 25 by the U.S. Drought Monitor said that drought conditions are expected to persist or get worse in the coming months.

According to Randy Julander, supervisor of the Utah Snow Survey program run by the U. S. Natural Resources Conservation Service, “The bottom line is we have gone from worse to bad…this pitched us out of the fire and into the frying pan.”

How Can You Help?

What can the average citizen do to help the state during a drought? One big place that individuals can make a difference is by adopting conservation measures around the house, especially outdoors, since 2/3 of the water used in an average home is used outdoors.

Start at http://www.slowtheflow.org This valuable website gathers water-wise tips from a variety of

sources to help you make good decisions. Some of the resources available here include:

  • A customized water use survey to help you determine your indoor and outdoor water use habits.
  • A link for a free water check to analyze the efficiency of your automated sprinkler system.
  • Information about rebate programs for installing water-conserving devices indoors and out.
  • Links to information about water-conserving plans and landscaping ideas.
  • A weekly lawn watering guide that shows, with a  map, recommended watering schedules based on local weather patterns.
  • A calendar of events for gardeners and others interested in water conservation.