Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Water Resources’ Category

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

Register for a free

Water conservation starts at home! Register for a free sprinkler check by calling 1-877-728-3420.

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.

City Urges Water Conservation, But Predicts No Local Shortages in Year Ahead

Photo Credit: Arbyreed via Flickr.

Little Cottonwood Canyon. Photo Credit: Arbyreed via Flickr.

With the warmer than normal temperatures at the beginning of 2015 and current snowpack levels below average, Mayor Ralph Becker and the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities remind residents to use water efficiently.  While snow levels are below average, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities does not anticipate a local water shortage this year.

This is the result of the proactive water resource stewardship approach Salt Lake City has taken, which includes investing in infrastructure to provide water storage and actively monitoring and managing water resources. The Salt Lake community’s pattern of improved water conservation is also a significant factor.

“We are always closely monitoring our water supplies,” said Jeff Niermeyer, Director of Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities. “Salt Lake City’s infrastructure investments and forethought in planning, and our community’s continued water conservation efforts, should ensure an adequate supply of water for this year.”

Regardless of the current City water supply, weather variability can make predicting next year’s snowpack and precipitation difficult. There is never have enough water to waste, and therefore it is important that residents and business owners always use water wisely. Public Utilities will be posting periodic updates on local snowpack levels and the water supply outlook on its website at www.slcgov.com/utilities and at www.facebook.com/slcpu.

Even though recent record breaking warm temperatures made it feel like spring, the winter season is still upon us and the City does not recommend turning on lawn sprinklers. However, now is a good time to start planning for water efficient gardens.

Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities is pleased to announce a free online tool to help you achieve an enjoyable and water efficient garden. SLC Gardenwise is a new, interactive water-wise landscape website.

“SLC Gardenwise is an interactive website that includes virtual garden tours, an extensive plant database, watering how-to’s and other resources,” said Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager for Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities.

Designed to provide information and inspiration for either the home gardener or landscape professional, the site provides a virtual tour of beautiful, water-wise landscapes, as well as technical information on site design, pest management, landscape maintenance and, of course, watering practices. Visit www.slcgardenwise for more information.

Help Shape the Future of the Wasatch Mountains!

Photo Credit: Steve_W via Flickr.

Photo Credit: Steve_W via Flickr.

The Mountain Accord is a collaborative public process to make long-term decisions and take action regarding transportation, environment, recreation, and economy in the central Wasatch Mountains (between I-80 and Little Cottonwood Canyon).

Your input is crucial to this important process! Comments are currently begin accepted on MountainAccord.com until November 20. Respond to a short questionnaire about the ideal scenarios for transportation, environment, recreation and economy.

Mountain Accord Public Comment Period Opens!

This Evening: The Future of our Wasatch Canyons

LWV Mountain Accord Flier

You’re invited to explore proposed development plans for the Wasatch Canyons at a special event this evening. Learn about the Mountain Accord and the future of our canyons for recreation, transportation, economy and environment.

Panelists include Laura Briefer, Water Resources Manager for Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, Natalie Gochnour, Associate Dean, David Eccles School of Business, University of Utah, Will McCarvill, President, Wasatch Mountain Club, Jon Nepstad, Principal, Fehr & Peers, Transportation Lead for Mountain Accord and David Whittekiend, Forest Supervisor for the Uinta-Cache-Wasatch National Forest.

Mountain Accord Discussion
Thursday, September 18
6:30-8:30 p.m.
Tessman Auditorium, Main Library (210 E 400 S)

The evening is hosted by The League of Women Voters of Salt Lake.

It’s Time to “Get into the River!” — Festival on May 31

GetintoRiverEvent

Come celebrate the Jordan River on Saturday, May 31st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a great opportunity to learn about the animals and habitats supported by the river and how communities and individuals are enjoying it each and every day.

Both educational and recreational demonstrations during the festivities.

Bring your bikes, strollers or walking shoes and experience the Jordan River Parkway!

What: Get into the River Festival

When: Saturday, May 31st from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Where: Jordan Park (900 West 1000 South)

More Information: GetintotheRiver.org. 

Download the schedule of events (PDF)

Rising Temperatures Challenge Salt Lake City’s Water Supply

Sensitivity study helps the City, others in the Intermountain West, plan for the future

In an example of the challenges water-strapped Western cities will face in a warming world, new research shows that every degree Fahrenheit of warming in the Salt Lake City region could mean a 1.8 to 6.5 percent drop in the annual flow of streams that provide water to the city.

By midcentury, warming Western temperatures may mean that some of the creeks and streams that help slake Salt Lake City’s thirst will dry up several weeks earlier in the summer and fall, according to the new paper, published today in the journal Earth Interactions. The findings may help regional planners make choices about long-term investments, including water storage and even land-protection policies. Read more

Wasatch Watershed: Snowflakes to Your Tap

mountainstream

60% of the water used by residents of Salt Lake City and the Valley’s east bench comes from canyons in the Wasatch Mountains. The Utah Chapter of the Green Building Council is hosting what promises to be a fascinating exploration into the successes and challenges of protecting Salt Lake City’s water.

The Wasatch Front Watershed: Snowflakes to Your Tap
Thursday, September 26 from 4-6 p.m.
Salt Lake City Public Library
Register online or pay at the door.
Questions: programs@usgbcutah.org

In the 1950’s, access to City Creek Canyon, a source of Salt Lake City’s drinking water, was closed to public use for over 10 years due to bacterial contamination, public health concerns and damage to the City Creek Watershed. Lessons learned from this event and the ensuing restoration of City Creek Canyon, as well as other water sources across the nation have informed Salt Lake City’s watershed protection policies for the last several decades.

Join Laura Briefer, Water Resources Manager, for the Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities to learn about Salt Lake City’s role, perspectives, successes, and challenges in protecting the main sources of Salt Lake City’s water supplies in the Central Wasatch Mountains – including recent scientific research and other work regarding climate change impacts on Salt Lake City’s water supply.

The Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities (SLCDPU) is a municipal water supplier responsible for the provision of drinking water to over 300,000 people in the Salt Lake Valley. Laura manages SLCDPU’s Water Resources Division, which includes watershed management, water conservation, hydrology, water rights, and land preservation functions.

As the Heat Rolls In, Be Water Wise

waterwiselandscape

With snow levels and spring run-off below average again this year, Salt Lake City Public Utilities is calling on its water customers to be watchful in regards to water use, avoiding both overwatering and water waste. Here are a few tips:

Sprinklers

  • Make sure sprinklers water the grass, and not patios or cement.
  • Check for clogged sprinkler heads and be sure to clear them out. Clogged heads will not evenly distribute water on your lawn and waste water.
  • Register for a free sprinkler check, which will include a catch cup test. The test evaluates the evenness of your watering system and will help you set up an effective and personalized irrigation schedule.

Other Tips for a Healthy Lawn

  • Healthy lawns should be watered deeply and infrequently so roots go down deep.
  • The higher you leave the grass, the healthier the lawn. Leave it about 2-3 inches high. This will ensure your lawn has a deeper root system.
  • Keep grass clippings on the lawn – they act like mulch to keep moister in and send nutrients back into your soil.

Don’t Forget Your Trees

It’s important to remember that trees have different watering needs than your lawn. Here are some helpful tips from Salt Lake City Urban Forestry (PDF). Also check out their list of Water Wise Trees (PDF).

Conserve Indoors

tapWaterWEBConserving water doesn’t stop outside! Here are some tips for water conservation indoors:

  • Only run the dishwasher when it is full.
  • Set your washing machine to the appropriate load size.
  • Don’t run the water while brushing your teeth, shaving or lathering your hands.
  • Store a pitcher of water in the refrigerator for drinking so you don’t have to let the faucet run for cold water.
  • Don’t use the toilet as a trash can (NEVER flush medications down the toilet!)

More tips from Salt Lake City’s Water Conservation program.

Landscape

  • Tips for a water wise landscape program:
    1. Analysis, Planning and Design. 
    2. Soil Improvement. Soil amendment helps correct poor water infiltration, percolation and drainage. Common amendments include compost, decomposed leaves or pine druff, manures or utelite.
    3. Efficient Irrigation. Match the amount of water supplied to your plant’s needs, group plants together according to their water needs. Turf should be irrigated separately.
    4. Limit Turf Areas. 
    5. Use Mulch. Mulch buffers soils against climate extremes.
    6. Use Low Water Demand Plants. 
    7. Maintain. Your garden will require extra maintenance before your plants fill in and establish themselves. Once that happens, demands decrease, plants require less water and weeds are crowded out.
  • Learn more about this process and access a list of Water Wise plants from Salt Lake City Public Utilities Water Conservation program.

Sprinkler Check Saves Water, Landscape & Money

Water is making headlines—the drought, water shortages, and use restrictions are in the news. The sprinkler check program is a free service designed to reduce water use while maintaining turf health.

Read more

World Water Day 2013

2013_infographic

Today is World Water Day, a day to reflect on the importance of water in our daily lives. This year’s theme is Water Cooperation, in honor of the declaration of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

Did you know?

  • 85% of the world population lives in the driest half of the planet.
  • 783 million people do not have access to clean water, and almost 2.5 billion do not have access to adequate sanitation.
  • 6 to 8 million people die annually from the consequences of disasters and water-related disease.

Today, take a moment to appreciate how fresh, clean water impacts our lives. And although we can count ourselves lucky to live in a society that has easy access to safe, clean water, it is important that we do not take this resource for granted. In the arid West, and as climate change’s impacts are felt, water scarcity may become a more pressing issue.

Learn more about what Salt Lake City is doing to adapt to predicted earlier snowmelt along the Wasatch Front. And stop by Salt Lake City Green’s Water Resources page to learn more about our commitment to water quality and conservation.

fresh-water-for-all