Governor Cox Declares State of Emergency Due to Drought

On Wednesday, March 17, Utah Governor Spencer Cox issued a state of emergency due to the ongoing drought in Utah.

Approximately 90% of the state is in “extreme” drought conditions. While recent storms have added to the snowpack total for the winter, most of the populous areas of the state still have less than 85% of normal snowpack.

In addition, the soil moisture is at its lowest level since 2006. Much of the rain and snowmelt will be soaked up by the thirsty soil, rather than refilling reservoirs. This means much less available water for the summer.

The emergency declaration allows for state and federal resources that can help those affected by the drought.

So, what can we expect during a drought emergency?

Farmers may lose up to one-third of their income as they cut back on planting or lose crops to drought.

Wildfire danger will increase. The governor requests all Utahns to be especially careful to avoid actions that can start wildfires, such as setting off unauthorized fireworks or being careless about campfires.

Water restrictions might be imposed later in the summer. All water utilities (including WaterPro) have drought plans in place, ready to be implemented if necessary.

What you can do

Rather than wait for your water supplier to impose restrictions, please be proactive and conserve water whenever possible. Suggestions:

Wait to water your landscaping. WaterPro’s pressure irrigation season begins on April 15, but the longer you can delay watering, the better for the entire state.

Change out your landscaping. Replace water-wasting grass with beautiful native plants. Visit www.conservationgardenpark.org for lots of ideas.

Schedule a free WaterCheck (beginning May 1) to optimize your irrigation system. Visit https://slowtheflow.org to schedule your WaterCheck.

Make saving water a way of life. Again, https://slowtheflow.org is a great place to get inspiration for saving water throughout your home – inside and out.