Jun 26, 2023 - News

Salt Lake City announces new water conservation tool for homeowners

Animated illustration of a spigot with droplets of water falling.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Salt Lake City officials announced a new tool on Monday to help homeowners reduce their outdoor water use.

Why it matters: Its availability comes as Utah communities promote water conservation efforts for homeowners amid decades of ongoing drought in the western U.S.

What's happening: Using software created by Utah State University, the city's Department of Public Utilities will provide WaterMAPS reports that calculate how much water a homeowner needs to maintain their landscapes.

  • The report will distinguish the land cover on a property and show potential water savings in gallons.

By the numbers: The reports are available to most of the 66,000 residents with water utility accounts through the city for their single-family homes.

  • Residents in Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights and in some areas of Midvale, Murray and South Salt Lake, can also take advantage of the program.

Worth noting: People who don't have water billing accounts, such as renters, will not receive the reports.

How it works: The reports take into account water meter data, local weather and a property's plant types to come up with a Landscape Irrigation Ratio (LIR).

  • The LIR compares how much water you use to sustain your landscape versus how much you actually need.

What they're saying: While Utah built a record snowpack in recent months that helped replenish reservoirs across the state and the Great Salt Lake, Laura Briefer, director of public utilities for the city, said it can be hard to predict what next winter could bring.

  • "One great winter of snow doesn't mitigate the giant drought that we've been in," Mayor Erin Mendenhall said during a news conference on Monday. "This is no time for us to be complacent."

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