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WATER FOCUS OF UTAH’S 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION - Energy And Water Development Corp

WATER FOCUS OF UTAH’S 2022 LEGISLATIVE SESSION


Nearly $500 Million in Spending Committed to Water Conservation Initiatives

St. George, UT –News Direct– Washington County Water Conservancy District

Utah’s 2022 legislative session concluded on March 4 with a record number of water conservation bills and appropriations totaling nearly $500 million in spending. Utah Governor Spencer J. Cox is expected to sign the bills into law in the next few weeks.

“Utah’s population and economy are exploding but our water supply is dwindling,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources. “We have to protect, conserve and develop our water. Doing nothing and running out of water isn’t an option.”

The bills are designed to help bolster water levels in reservoirs throughout the state by reducing demand via grass rebate programs, additional metering of secondary water and watershed enhancement efforts. Statewide water storage is at a dismal 54% of capacity.

“As one of the driest and fastest-growing states in the nation, strains on Utah’s water supply threaten our ability to thrive, our recreational opportunities, our environment, and our food supply,” said Brad Wilson, speaker, Utah House of Representatives. “The actions taken this legislative session to conserve, preserve, and optimize Utah’s water resources reiterate our commitment to address current needs while preparing for the future.”

Drought conditions are common throughout Utah, especially in the southwest section of the state. Washington County’s major population centers are currently dependent on one water source that has been in a drought 16 of the last 20 years.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District (district) is working with its local municipal partners to pass additional water efficiency ordinances that will eliminate or reduce the amount of grass allowed in new construction and developing a more robust regional wastewater reuse system to help prevent approaching water supply shortages.

“We are elevating our water conservation efforts while developing the critical infrastructure our growing community will need to survive a hotter and drier climate in the future, including a wastewater reuse system that will serve our municipal customers,” said Zach Renstrom, general manager of the district. “We have to plan for the future and all its uncertainties or we’ll run out of water.”

Washington County has reduced its per capita water use by more than 30% since 2000 – the highest percent reduction in Utah. In collaboration with its municipal partners, the district has invested more than $70 million in recent conservation efforts.

Washington County has reduced its per capita water use by more than 30% since 2000 – the highest percent reduction in Utah. In collaboration with its municipal partners, the district has invested more than $70 million in recent conservation efforts.

Included in Utah’s water conservation bills are:

Bill Number

HB = House Bill

SB = Senate Bill

Summary

HB 37

promotes recharge of aquifer storage

HB 39

requires more efficient plumbing fixtures in updated construction codes

HB 121

imposes water conservation requirements on state-owned facilities and provides incentives to replace grass

HB 131

creates the watershed restoration initiative

HB 168

requires the state engineer to study how use would be managed in a temporary water shortage, including the identification of preference and compensation

HB 242

requires the metering of secondary water systems

HB 282

prohibits public and private entities from prohibiting water-wise landscaping and authorizes certain landscaping requirements

HB 423

provides funding for the implementation of agricultural and water management practices that maintain or increase viable agricultural while minimizing negative impacts on water supply or quality

SB 89

modifies water conservation plan requirements

SB 110

mandates municipal general plans to address land and water use together

About Washington County Water Conservancy District

The Washington County Water Conservancy District is a not-for-profit public agency that oversees water resources in Washington County, UT. Visit wcwcd.org for more information.

Contact Details

Washington County Water Conservancy District

Karry Rathje

+1 435-673-3617

Karry@wcwcd.org

Company Website

https://www.wcwcd.org/

View source version on newsdirect.com: https://newsdirect.com/news/water-focus-of-utahs-2022-legislative-session-890745331



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