Nowadays, no one can deny the importance of water conservation in the human environment. The efforts of the government and residents of Utah has made a clear example to the rest of the world on how to prevent or combat water scarcity.
According to information obtained from the government Environmental Protection Agency EPA, an average American family consumes more than 300 gallons of water per day, out of which 70% is used inside the home. In 2016, a report by the United States Geological Survey on water use indicated that Utahns are some of the highest users of water per-capita in the US. That’s about 187 gallons on average per person. A larger fraction of this number is however not attributed to home use. More than 78% of the water is actually directed for use in farmlands for irrigation. In the United States, only Nevada and Idaho are the states with a higher per-capita use of water. But with all the lawn watering and sprinkler systems in Salt Lake City we are not doing much better.
However, in 2018, the conscious efforts directed at saving water in Salt Lake City has led to a 36% reduction in water usage. And now, the state wouldn’t need to commence with its plan to divert water from northern Utah’s Bear River, the biggest contributor of water to the Salt Lake, for agricultural and municipal use in the state.
Is water diversion a way to shore up water supply?
For over 30 years, it was argued by environmental and industry experts that going ahead with the water diversion plan would greatly reduce the water level of the Great Salt Lake by 11 feet until the diversion is stopped.
It was also argued that depending on water diversion to curb water scarcity could also negatively affect the habitats of the brine shrimp and migratory birds. Mineral extraction companies around the lake would not also be left out of the negative effect of the proposed diversion. Due to the fluctuation of the level of water as a result of the proposed plan, farmers could also suffer from the resulting overflooding of their farmlands and grazing areas.
But still, it was necessary that the supply of water needed to be buoyed or at least conserved to cater for the growing human population in Utah, especially the metropolis of the Salt Lake City. Hence, other environment-friendly means of saving water in Salt Lake City had to be sought.
Conserving water through meter installation.
Speaking on how the state has been able to achieve this feat (36% water use reduction), Todd Adams, the deputy director of the division which oversees water resources in Utah, says that the use of water meters has been pivotal.
According to Todd Adams, water which is piped to properties for use outdoors but never used at home for bathing, drinking or related uses has greatly contributed to the success of water conservation recorded in the Salt Lake City and Utah in general. He explained that in some water conservancy districts, about 5,000 to 7,000 water meters were installed and this has led to a more efficient way of conserving water. Find out how to install a water meter if you don’t currently have one because seeing what you use can help you decrease what you use.
Seeking legalization for water banking
To supplement water conservancy efforts, members of representatives are also proposing for the legalization of water banking, something that has been placed in an analogy similar to that of saving money in the bank during times of financial surplus. Therefore, people who need water can simply borrow from water banks or those who water-bank during times of surplus wouldn’t be in a limbo during times of scarcity.
There is so much more we can be doing to help save water. Fortunately, Klingler & Associates are helping us get the word our there so that we can start saving water together.
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