ST. GEORGE — Last month, the Utah Division of Water Resources reported that water conservation efforts have helped meet growing population needs while postponing the need for water development projects.
While state officials primarily referred to water projects in northern Utah, the southwest corner of the state has also seen its own successes with conservation efforts during an ongoing drought, according to local water officials.
“We’ve seen how implementing water conservation strategies can delay large-scale infrastructure projects,” Todd Adams, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, said in a press release.
“When the Legislature passed the Bear River Development Act in 1991, the projected need for the water was in 2015. Thanks primarily to conservation efforts, new technology and some smaller water development projects, current projections indicate the water won’t be needed until 2045 to 2050.”
The state has launched several water conservation projects in recent years that Adams gave credit to Utah’s citizens and private sectors for embracing.
“We appreciate those Utahns and sectors who do their part to conserve this precious resource by embracing a waterwise ethic to safeguard our future,” Adams aid. “Using water wisely is always the right thing to do, whether the state is experiencing drought or not. The division encourages and promotes water conservation wherever it can be implemented – which is everywhere, including your tap.”
State conservation efforts have included the creation of regional water conservation goals and plans, water efficiency projects, the “Slow the flow” information campaign, rebates and the metering of secondary water sources.
In Southern Utah, Zachary Renstrom, the general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District, said the district has seen its own success with water conservation over the years thanks to collective efforts of the community. Much of that success, Renstrom said, has come through educating the public.
According to the latest data available from the Utah Division of Water Resources, Washington County’s per capita water use decreased 7.5% from 2010 to 2018.
“Our citizens are naturally responding, and I think it shows a couple of things – that our citizens here care about water, they care about the environment, they care about the reliability of our water – and that they are willing to invest their time, effort and energy…