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Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Water Wise

Posted By on August 10, 2022, 4:00 AM

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It's monsoon season and much of the state has been experiencing rain lately—some areas more than others. There have even been flash floods in much of southern Utah, with more expected.

Once it began to rain after 18 consecutive days of over 100-degree temperatures in the capital city, I walked outside and let the drops fall on my face and inhaled the perfume of water mixed with dust and dry grass. This never-ending drought sucks, but global warming sucks worse. It's obvious that the drought is the result of global warming. Daily, I wonder what I can do—nay, what we can do—to help save this planet.

Utah is one of the driest states in the nation. We also have the cheapest water prices. sofi.com reports that the average water bill for a homeowner in Utah in 2021 was $38 per month. It's only logical that if water rates were doubled, people might be inclined to use water more wisely.

Already, we've been encouraged to "slow the flow" and water lawns less frequently. slowtheflow.org says that watering your lawn only once a week can save 3,000 gallons of water per year, per household.

I'm a golfer. As a handicapped person, golfing is one of few activities I can enjoy apart from swimming. We have gorgeous courses in this state and, according to Golf Digest, our top-ranked courses are: Glenwild; Victory Ranch Red Ledges; Talisker Club; Promontory; Park Meadows in and around Park City; the Salt Lake Country Club; Sand Hollow in Hurricane and Entrada at Snow Canyon in St. George.

Golf courses are thirsty. According to the U.S. Geological Survey's report of water-use data in Utah for the past year, Utah golf courses use 38 million gallons of water per day. These green spaces provide not just recreation but food and homes for birds and other wildlife.

Despite their benefits, several Utah cities and counties are limiting the construction of new golf courses. In fact, Ivins in Washington County passed laws earlier this year banning new courses and even car washes. Kamas and Oakley also have limited new construction in certain areas due to lack of water.

Utahrivers.org report that farming and ranching account for about 85% of Utah's water use, while indoor use by residents consumes a mere 3% to 4%. Farmers are being encouraged to choose more drought tolerant crops, to try rainwater harvesting (when there is rain), to change to drip irrigation if possible and to rotate crops to save water.

And Utah Sen. Mitt Romney recently got a bill through Congress to pay for a $10 million study of the Great Salt Lake to look for ideas to tackle the drought conditions contributing to the shrinkage of that salty puddle.

We can all do our best to conserve—showers vs. baths, low-water landscaping, etc. As a state, though, we need to help agriculture find alternatives to use less water and fund upgrades for public land and golf course sprinklers.

About The Author

Babs Delay

Babs Delay

Bio:
De Lay is realtor/broker/owner of Urban Utah Homes and Estates. She is a former member of the Utah Transit Authority's Board of Trustees.

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