The future of our local water systems is a critical issue in Utah. Indeed, although the state was declared drought free early this May, Utah experienced its driest year on record in 2018 — and this summer may be just as scorching.
Utah typically relies on snow melt runoff stored in mountain reservoirs to survive the hot summers. The past few years, however, Utah’s weather has been unpredictable — from receiving one of the worst drought designations in the nation in October to watching for flooding as the snow pack starts to melt.
Although our rivers are bulging and reservoirs are at capacity, there’s no telling how long the good fortune will last. With this in mind, it’s important to remain conscious of our water usage as summer approaches. Luckily, there are many easy ways to conserve water!
Salt Lake City’s Department of Public Utilities has many resources on their website to help you conserve water. We’ve also put together this handy list:
Community gardens provide Salt Lake City with fresh, locally grown food and a vibrant space to connect with our neighbors. Salt Lake City’s community gardens are popular locations for everything from volunteering to learning about urban farming. Indeed, in conjunction with Wasatch Community Gardens (WCG), Salt Lake City has successfully developed seven community gardens in almost every corner of the city through our Green City Growers program.
These gardens include the Off Broadway Community Garden, Liberty Wells, Rose Park, Cannon Greens, 9-Line, Popperton Plots, and the Gateway Garden. Not only do these gardens support Salt Lake City’s dedication to increase local food production, they invigorate our neighborhoods by putting vacant lots to use in ways that support community engagement and biodiversity — all while limiting our communities’ carbon footprints.
Salt Lake City’s community gardens activate our neighborhoods, giving residents a space to engage with friends and neighbors and to grow fresh produce. And we just can’t get enough of them!
In order to continue to make community gardens accessible and ensure that locally grown food stays a priority, both Salt Lake City and Salt Lake County have proposed new community gardens to be built in 2020.
But the City, County, and WCG can’t do it alone. We need a strong show of support from nearby residents, indicating that the gardens will receive enough use.
Salt Lake City is working with WCG to establish Richmond Park Community Garden. Similarly, Salt Lake County and WCG are collaborating on a new garden in Sugar House Park. You can read more about the gardens below. If you would be interested in gardening at either of these parks, sign the petitions below to show your support.
Salt Lake City highlighted Richmond Park for a potential garden. The park, which already has a fantastic playground, is nestled between 500 and 400 East along 600 South in downtown Salt Lake City.
Utah’s premiere sustainability summit is celebrating its 10th anniversary!
Over 400 sustainability professionals, engaged citizens, and emerging leaders will gather at Weber State University on March 21 and 22 for the 10th annual celebration of the Sustainability Summit. It’s also one of our favorite yearly events!
The Summit is hosted by Weber State University’s Sustainability Practices and Research Center (SPARC) and was created to increase sustainability practices by engaging students, sustainability professionals, and the general public in topics such as clean energy infrastructure, green buildings, urban water, and other sustainability topics.
Join us for the fun!
The Intermountain Sustainability Summit features two days of events, including the main Summit day on Thursday, March 21, and workshops on Friday, March 22.
As our readers know, one of SLCgreen’s core goals is to help you adopt tips and practices to make your life more sustainable. Whether that’s reducing your contribution to air pollution, learning how to eat more local food, or understanding what to recycle, all of us have a role to play in making Salt Lake City a more sustainable place to live.
That goes for our own operations as well. One of the major areas of focus for SLCgreen (as the City’s Sustainability Department is known) is helping SLC Corporation adopt best practices when it comes to those same sustainability measures we ask of our community.
That’s why we’re delighted to share with you some elements of our new internal Sustainability Policy, signed in January 2017 by Mayor Biskupski.
This policy affects Salt Lake City’s approximately 3,000 government employees, the community as a whole, our vendors, and the supply chains emanating from those vendors. By vowing to practice the best sustainable methods in all operations from prohibiting Styrofoam cups in break rooms, to carefully tracking our buildings’ energy usage, SLC is setting a community standard—a green standard.
We’d like to note that many of the guidelines in the Sustainability Policy were already in effect through various executive orders and policies, but this is the first time the best practices have been consolidated and turned into a comprehensive document.
The 12-month program promoting sustainability education and action for city employees, Empower SLC, has come to an end. After 12 themes and nearly 50 weekly topics, we hope the lessons learned will help SLC Corp employees adopt more sustainable practices into their everyday lives.
Empower SLC, which began in April 2016, was designed as a training platform by Sustain3 and implemented by the Sustainability Department for Salt Lake City’s nearly 3,000 employees. Our goal was to encourage sustainable practices amongst city staff. Each month, employees participated in monthly themes, such as waste reduction, energy conservation, water conservation, and clean air transportation, and completed weekly lessons and activities.
While 70% of the earth is covered by water, ultimately about only 1% of that water is available for consumptive purposes such as irrigation, drinking, and bathing to supply a growing population of 7 billion people.
Utah is the second driest state in the nation. We use a lot of water for irrigation – both for commercial farms and for watering our landscapes at home. For the average family, two-thirds or 67% of our total home water use is used outdoors – mostly to irrigate lawns and landscape. Accordingly, finding smarter ways to use and conserve water outside is one of the most effective ways to conserve precious water resources and save money on our monthly water bills.
Follow these steps to reduce your outdoor water use.Read more