Last month the Governor’s State Water Strategy Advisory Team published their 50-year State Water Strategy recommendations, which were four years in the making and took into consideration the voices of stakeholders, experts and the public. The number one recommended priority on their list is water conservation. Why?
- Utah is one of the driest states in the nation
- Utah is one of the fastest growing states in the nation
- Utah has the highest municipal use of water per capita in the nation
- High water use equates to high tax spending in the order of billions of dollars through the Division of Water Resources that can be saved through water conservation
At 295 gallons per capita per day (the still-cited figure for our water use from the year 2000), Utah’s water usage is double the national average and much higher than the water use of most western cities.
Utah’s current water conservation goal is to reduce municipal water use just 1% per year until the year 2025 and to stop conserving water after that. But Utah can do better, and can save billions of taxpayer dollars for unnecessary and environmentally damaging water sourcing projects in the process.
Water leaders say that the state has already reduced water use 18% since the year 2000. Hooray! Let’s ask Governor Herbert to commit to a 40% water use reduction by the year 2030 to bring our water use to 175 gallons per person per day. The list of Western cities already using 175 gallons is very long, including Denver, Los Angeles, San Antonio and Fort Worth.