Extreme drought and climate change have highlighted the need for Utah to stretch our water supply and improve efficiency. The Division of Water Resources follows legislation as part of its mission to plan, conserve, develop and protect Utah’s water resources. Water legislation may directly result in funding, actions or adjustments that impact how we enact our mission.
After multiple years of drought, low water supplies and dismal lake levels, we had an epic winter in 2023. We saw record snow water equivalent accumulation across the state. In addition to a fantastic winter, the Legislature once again made a significant investment in water conservation and infrastructure.
Considering this year and last, over $1 billion was appropriated and approximately $431 million entrusted to the Division of Water Resources. State funds were made available for cloud seeding, ongoing landscaping conversion incentives, grants to
assist cities for new general plan requirements and additional staff.
The 2024 legislative session began January 16th. Numerous water-related bills are being introduced this session. The division director presented a review of the division’s duties and ongoing programs to the Legislative Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environmental Quality Appropriates Subcommittee on January 22, 2024.
Note that not all water legislation applies to the division. Other state agencies that deal with water include the Department of Agriculture and Food, Division of Drinking Water, Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands, Division of Water Rights, Division of Water Quality and Office of Administrative Rules.
You can track legislation at the Utah State Legislature site.
2022 and 2023 were record years for water legislation. Read more in the tabs below.