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Current Drought Conditions in Utah

How The District Prepares for Drought

While it is a normal part of the climate cycle, drought becomes particularly worrisome when it spans multiple years or even decades. It is generally a quiet-moving hazard, and as a result, may cause individuals to overlook the harm it can cause. The effects of drought can be felt in agriculture, domestic water supply, hydropower energy production, public health, recreation, and wildlife; and increases the risk and severity of wildfires.

The District understands the effects of drought and has prepared for extended dry seasons through:

Long Term Planning

While many organizations are planning using one, two, or five-year benchmarks Central Utah Water is planning 50+ years into the future. Using this approach Central Utah Water can prepare for some of the most pressing issues in the state: population growth, weather variability, drought, and other uncertainties.

Large Multi-year Reservoirs

The Central Utah Project (CUP) and its corresponding reservoirs were designed to capture as much spring run-off as possible during dry years and to protect the valley floors from floods during wet years. Thanks to visionary leaders in the past, the Central Utah area has a reservoir system that has carried the region through past difficult water years and will continue to do so in the future.

Increased Conservation Efforts

Water conservation continues to be a critical element of the District's planning and operations. The amount of available water in the state does not increase with the growing population. To prepare for more people and less water, the District is expanding its residential and commercial conservation rebate programs and working with partners across all types of industries to lessen their water footprint.

Starvation Reservoir at Sunset

How You Can Prepare for Drought

Residents living within Central Utah Water Conservancy District's boundaries can prepare for potentially prolonged periods of drought through small and simple actions. The water savings, no matter how small, compound with each additional citizen doing their part to conserve. Below are some quick tips to assist you in your journey to be more water conscious and more drought resilient:

Update Your Existing Landscape

Start small. Consider converting your planting beds to drip irrigation, flipping your park strip to a water-wise design, or a full Localscape conversion.

Find and Repair any Leaks (Inside and Out)

Check your fixtures for leaks frequently. Before setting your irrigation timer for the season, make sure to walk your property and check for leaks. Leaks are the culprits of thousands of gallons of water waste each year.

Consider Upgrading Your Irrigation Controller

Did you know that there is an incentive for Utah homeowners to update their old, outdated irrigation controllers? Find out eligibility requirements and apply at utahwatersavers.com.

People removing grass from park strip.

Common Questions Regarding Drought

Where can I learn more about the current drought situation?

There are a variety of resources available that cover the drought. The U.S. Drought Monitor offers a weekly snapshot of the severity of drought conditions. The Utah Division of Water Resources also offers up-to-date information concerning the drought in Utah.

Will there be any watering restrictions?

The District recommends that all homeowners consult with their city or local water provider for specific watering restrictions or recommendations. For additional direction, consult the Division of Water Resources' Weekly Lawn Watering Guide.

How will drought affect recreation?

Outdoor recreation is critical to Utah's economy and generates an estimated $4.9 billion dollars annually. However, the reduced snowpack, streamflow, and water levels in lakes and reservoirs limit the opportunity and quality of both summer and winter outdoor recreation activities.

What does it mean to be drought resilient?

Drought-resilient individuals, households, and communities are better able to adjust to drought and unpredictable climate patterns, which are becoming ever more common within the Western United States. Should less water be available during a given year, those that are drought-resilient will be better prepared.

How can I be more drought resilient?

Anyone can become more drought-resilient through simple acts such as: removing narrow bits of lawn from your landscape, using a smart irrigation controller or switching planting beds to drip irrigation. Classes and rebates to help you make these changes are available at Localscapes.com and Utahwatersavers.com.

Dry, cracked, soil

Additional Resources

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Slow the Flow

Stay up to date on the current drought situation and find more information from the Governor's Water Conservation Team.

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Utah Water Savers

The State of Utah offers statewide rebates and programs for your home and landscape. Get up to a $75 rebate on a smart controller for your yard. Also, if your home was built before 1994, you could get up to $200 for replacing your old toilets with a new low-flow models

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The Localscape approach is a series of landscaping patterns and practices that takes into account Utah's unique climate. It's good landscape design, simplified.

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USU Extension

Utah State University has compiled a library of resources on a variety of topics ranging from in-home water conservation to range & livestock drought resources.