Weekly Lawn Watering Guide now recommending at least “one irrigation per week” for the entire state

Published 05-16-22

Is it time to turn the sprinklers on? Check the Utah Division of Water Resources’ Weekly Lawn Watering Guide and find out. The guide is posted every Friday on the division’s Facebook page and website during irrigation season to help Utahns target water needs in each county. Utah has been in drought eight out of the last 10 years. We encourage all residents to check with their local water provider for restrictions. 

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Graphic of Drought Declaration

Gov. Cox issues drought emergency order

Published 04-21-22

Gov. Spencer J. Cox declared a state of emergency due to the dire drought conditions affecting the entire state. This declaration activates the Drought Response Committee and triggers increased monitoring and reporting. It also allows drought-affected communities, agricultural producers and others to report unmet needs and work toward solutions. 

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Transparent Water Billing Grant

Published 03-03-22

The Utah Division of Water Resources is currently accepting applications from retail water providers within the state of Utah that have a current water conservation plan filed with the Utah Division of Water Resources for three-year pilot projects through our new Transparent Water Billing Grant Program.

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Water Resources “Blitzes” park strips to show Utahns how to save thousands of gallons

Published 09-21-21

SALT LAKE CITY (Sept. 20, 2021) – The Utah Division of Water Resources will convert four grassy park strips to lush but water-wise landscapes to launch “Flip Blitz,” a campaign that aims to raise awareness about how small landscape changes can make a big difference. The campaign kicks off Tuesday, Sept. 21 at 13218 S Herriman Rose Blvd, Herriman, Utah 84096 at 9 a.m.

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Director of Utah Division of Water Resources Appointed

Published 08-26-21

SALT LAKE CITY – Candice Hasenyager has been named director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. Hasenyager replaces Todd Adams who was appointed this week as deputy director for the Department of Natural Resources. Adams fills a vacancy created by Rory Reynolds who is retiring after 31 years with DNR. 

“Candice is a natural leader with a strong track record of water resource management. Her leadership will be critical in addressing Utah’s water challenges,” Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Brian Steed said. “She has helped lead the state through one of the worst droughts in history and will continue to look for innovative ways to stretch and best manage our water supply.”

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Gov. Cox announces conservation focus areas

Published 07-29-21

At a press conference July 29, Gov. Spencer Cox was joined by water districts and St. George Mayor Michele Randall to highlight water-saving efforts underway around the state and announce conservation program expansions. Although drought conditions are discouraging, many Utahns are taking water-saving actions at their homes, businesses, communities, and industries.

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District was the first in the state to offer rebates for turf park strip conversions with the popular “Flip Your Strip” program. Today, Central Utah Water Conservancy District and Weber Basin Water Conservancy District also launched turf removal programs designed to incentivize homeowners to remove grass that doesn’t serve an active purpose. (Visit UtahWaterSavers.com to find out about programs and rebates in your area.)

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Great Salt Lake reaches historic low

Published 07-24-21

According to the USGS, the southern portion of the Great Salt Lake is at a new historic low, with average daily water levels dropping about an inch below the previous record set in 1963, according to U.S. Geological Survey information collected at the SaltAir gauge location.  

“Based on current trends and historical data, the USGS anticipates water levels may decline an additional foot over the next several months,” said USGS Utah Water Science Center data chief Ryan Rowland. “This information is critical in helping resource managers make informed decisions on Great Salt Lake resources. You can’t manage what you don’t measure.” 

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Great Salt Lake nears historic low

Published 07-03-21

Reports that the Great Salt Lake has dropped below its historic low elevation of 4,191.35 are premature. The Utah Division of Water Resources is following the lake’s elevation closely and expects it will drop below that point in the coming days.

Conditions like wind, inflow and evaporation can cause the lake’s elevation to fluctuate. Sometimes those swings are extreme. To account for this, the division evaluates daily averages rather than the instantaneous readings recorded every 15-minutes. Taking this approach provides a more accurate reading rather than a single snapshot in time.

This pending milestone is concerning. The value of the Great Salt Lake to the state of Utah is significant as it provides economic, environmental and ecological benefits. Utah is growing faster than any other state in the country, and water demand is at an all-time high. Coordination and cooperation are key to solving this unique challenge. It’s important that we maintain a unified front between policy leaders, industry, wildlife and all stakeholders to balance the state’s growth with the health of the lake.

More information

Gov. Cox announces third drought Executive Order, fireworks ban on state lands

Published 06-09-21

SALT LAKE CITY (June 8, 2021) – Utah Gov. Spencer J. Cox issued another executive order further restricting water use at state facilities. He also announced a prohibition on fireworks for all state and unincorporated lands.

“All indicators show this could be the worst drought year on record,” Gov. Cox said. “Utah state government is leading the way by cutting back on water use at all state facilities, but all of us — from private businesses to local governments to individuals — need to conserve water now more than ever.” 

Cox announced Executive Order 2021-10, which requires lawn watering at some state facilities to be reduced to two days per week. A previous order allowed three days per week.

He also announced that the State Forester and the Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands issued an order banning fireworks on all state and unincorporated private lands. This order is effective today. The same goes for SITLA lands: No fireworks will be allowed on SITLA lands this summer.

Cox was joined by Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Commissioner Craig Buttars, who described the effect the extreme drought is having on agribusiness, and Deputy Director for Division of Water Resources Candice Hasenyager, who discussed the impact on the state’s waterways. Also attending were Lt. Gov. Deidre Henderson, Jamie Barnes, interim director of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, and Jeff Rassmussen, director of the Division of Parks and Recreation.

Executive Order

Utah Colorado River Commissioner statement on Lake Powell elevation forecast

Published 05-20-21

The Bureau of Reclamation’s May 24-Month Study forecast of Lake Powell elevations, while not surprising, is certainly concerning for all water users in the Colorado River Basin. The Upper Colorado River Commission, which includes Utah along with Wyoming, Colorado, and New Mexico is working closely with the Bureau of Reclamation on a drought response plan that could adjust operations at Lake Powell and upstream reservoirs to keep Lake Powell from dropping below critical levels.  

Maintaining Lake Powell elevations at or above 3,525 feet helps to preserve hydropower production at Glen Canyon Dam. Drought response planning is a critical component of Colorado River management, including the operations at Lake Powell and Lake Mead. – Gene Shawcroft, Utah Colorado River Commissioner

For more information, read the Upper Colorado River Commission press release.