What to Know About Your Home’s Water & the Utah Drought
If you live in Utah, then you know that we are currently experiencing a drought. While we have experienced droughts in the past, this one is more intense. This is because we haven’t had any recent relief, causing this to be an extreme situation. With 100% of the state experiencing this drought, Gov. Spencer J. Cox has issued executive orders to restrict water. You can keep up with Utah’s drought conditions here.
Why Are We In a Drought?
The year 2020 came with a lot of unexpected events. On top of the pandemic, Utah also experienced its driest and hottest year on record. Because of this, our snowpack was dismal, topping out at 81% and peaking 10 days early.
In Salt Lake City, 90% of our drinking water comes from the Wasatch Mountain snowpack and this local resource is important to our daily lives. Due to the heat, our winter had less snow than we were used to and our dry soils soaked up what little runoff we had. As a result of this, streams statewide are flowing less than 50%.
On Top of the lack of snow, we experienced a dry April and an even drier May. With less than one-half-inch of rain accumulated in valley locations. In June, we reached record temperatures that have contributed to the state’s tinderbox conditions, making wildfire danger extremely high. It’s clear that his drought is different from the ones we’ve had in the past. That’s why it’s important to stay informed and do our part during this time.
How Does This Drought Affect You?
While you probably don’t feel the direct impact of this drought, it’s still important to do your part to help your community and state. As the drought continues to progress, mandatory restrictions are starting to become a strong possibility. As one of the driest states in the nation, we already need to be conscious of water use. In a drought, it’s even more important to reduce our use.
What Can You Do?
As summer continues, Utah’s drought conditions aren’t getting better. “All indicators show that this could be the worst drought year on record.” Gov. Cox said. Because of these extreme conditions, we must do our best to conserve water. Here are some things you can do to help:
Indoor Water Conservation Tips
- Fix any leaks in your home.
- Take shorter showers.
- Replace your showerhead with an ultra-low-flow version.
- Don’t let the water run while brushing your teeth or hand washing dishes.
- Use your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded.
- Don’t use running water to thaw any frozen foods.
Outdoor Water Conservation Tips
- Use a shut-off nozzle on your hose, so water flows only as needed.
- Don’t overwater your lawn.
- Water your lawn in several short sessions, rather than one long one.
- Use a sprinkler system to water your lawn instead of a water hose.
- Raise your lawnmower blades to at least three inches or its highest level.
- Add a water-saving filter to any pools you may have.
- Use mulch to retain moisture in the soil.
In times of drought, one of the most important things you can do is conserve water. As plumbers, we work with water daily and believe that it is one of our most vital resources. These tips will not only help you do your part during this time but also save you money.
How is Utah Managing the Drought?
Utah has a successful drought management team that has played a huge part in helping Utah citizens. Utah’s current drought plan uses the Surface Water Supply Index (SWSI) to determine what drought phase we are currently in. Phases range from one to five, five being the worst. The Governor’s recent declaration of a drought emergency has put Utah’s drought into Phase three.
As Utah’s drought emergency continues, state officials are looking at potential solutions. The Governor has already issued an executive order that requires state facilities to restrict water and prohibits fireworks in certain areas. With these orders, we hope that we start to see conditions take a turn for the better.
How Can Shamrock Help?
It’s no secret that water is one of our most vital resources and in times like this it is important to do what we can to save the water we have. Not only does water conservation help your community, but it can also save you money. If you have any questions about which plumbing repairs or installations you can invest in to better conserve water, feel free to contact us!