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Posts tagged ‘snowpack’

Where have all the winters gone? Local consequences of climate change panel discussion

Where have all the winters gone

Where have all the winters gone? Local consequences of climate change
Thursday, April 16 from 7-8:30 p.m.
Malouf Hall 201, Westminster College

Panelists:

  • Laura Briefer, Water Resources Manager, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities
  • Maura Olivos, Sustainability Coordinator & Ecologist, Alta Ski Area
  • Court Strong, Assistant Professor, Department of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Utah
  • Moderator: Brent Olson, Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Westminster College

 

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.

Mayor Becker Responds to EPA Announcement of Emission Goals for U.S. Power Plants

powerplant2Following today’s announcement of the EPA’s new Clean Power Plan, which would set emissions standards for power plants, Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker issued the following statement.

“I am pleased that President Obama and EPA Administrator McCarthy are using the appropriate tool of the Clean Air Act to regulate carbon emissions from the largest source of carbon pollution–coal-fired power plants. The authority and direction, established by Congress and President Nixon in 1970, was intended to regulate threats to our health and welfare from air pollution.

The flexible step announced today, carefully developed after many years of input and giving industry multiple options to reduce carbon emissions, uses Clean Air Act authority upheld time and again by the U.S. Supreme Court. The common sense regulations will serve to help our region and state address air pollution and the unparalleled risk to our wellbeing from climate disruption.

As Administrator McCarthy noted, we have a collective, moral obligation to make responsible decisions on behalf of the health of our families and children, and the long-term viability and livability of our community. We need look no further than the profound air pollution issues here in our region for a call to action. We are also already seeing changes from climate change in our watersheds and snowpack that will impose enormous costs on us and future water users in the Salt Lake Valley.

Taking this responsible and necessary step will go a long way to starting effective societal solutions.”

Learn more about the Clean Power Plan