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Mayor Becker Takes Action to Protect City Water Supply in Face of Climate Change Impacts

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SALT LAKE CITY – Mayor Ralph Becker is working to protect Salt Lake City’s water supply in the face of another year of below average snow levels and spring run-off for Salt Lake City by declaring a Stage 1 Advisory in accordance with the Salt Lake City Water Shortage Contingency Plan. A Stage 1 Advisory calls for water customers to be watchful in regards to water use by avoiding overwatering and water waste.

The Salt Lake City Public Utilities Department is closely monitoring water supply levels and demand patterns to determine if further declarations are warranted. While the City’s current overall water supply is about 90 percent of normal, stream flows are very low, prompting the Stage 1 Advisory.

“This careful water management approach is part of our overall efforts to adapt to, and mitigate, the impacts of climate change that are already upon us,” said Mayor Becker. “Conservation, efficiency and sustainability guide how we approach all our goals for the City and I hope residents will join us in this effort.”

“Unfortunately, Salt Lake City is not immune to the realities of the climate change crisis and our recent below average snow fall is a clear sign of that. We are doing everything we can to address this problem for the short and long term.”

Mayor Becker has been actively working to address climate change at both the local and national level for many years.  In addition to implementing a wide array of cutting-edge sustainability practices in Salt Lake City, Mayor Becker also served on the White House Climate Change Task Force which developed recommendations for the federal government on mitigating the damage caused by climate change in local communities like Salt Lake City.

“Last year, we were able to carry over a portion of our water allocation and save it in our reservoirs in the event of another year of below average snowpack,” said Salt Lake City Public Utilities Director Jeff Niermeyer.  “This year’s snow levels mean that it is important to maintain that goal of reserving water for future need, should this pattern of low snow fall and runoff continue into next year.”

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines five water shortage stages triggered by water supply levels, stream flows, and water demand. It also provides recommendations for actions within each stage aimed at reducing water demand to levels that reflect current supply and future water needs.

Public Utilities offers these simple recommendations for using less water:

  • Adjust sprinkler controllers to reflect the season and weather
  • Check sprinkler systems for broken or misaligned spray heads
  • Check indoor faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair promptly
  • Sign up for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420
  • Visit http://slcgardenwise.com/ for water-saving tips and landscape information

For more information on how to reduce water use or to view the Water Shortage Contingency Plan, visit www.slcgov.com/waterconservation or contact Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager at 801-483-6860 or stephanie.duer@slcgov.com.

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