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Posts tagged ‘water’

Earth Week Day 6: Calculate Your Water Footprint & Reduce It

Water_footprint

GRACE Communications Water Footprint Calculator

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

Mayor Jackie Biskupski signs amicus brief in defense of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski joined more than 50 city and county governments from 28 states in signing an amicus brief in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“I signed this brief on behalf of Salt Lake City because the effects of climate change are real, but so are the solutions,” said Mayor Biskupski. “The EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan will reduce the pollutants that contribute to smog by more than 25 percent, a change that will benefit everyone along the Wasatch Front, especially during our increasingly dangerous winter inversion season.”

The brief, filed in federal court today, argues the administration’s plan is critical to the safety and economic security of local communities across the United States. Signatories of the brief represent a diverse geographic, economic, and political mix. In all, the signatories represent 51 localities, home to more than 18 million Americans.

“Climate change challenges our very way of life in Salt Lake City. Increasing temperatures and a shorter winter season are resulting in less snow, threatening not only our billion dollar ski industry, but the water we need to keep up with our population growth,” said Mayor Biskupski. “My administration is committed to strengthening our actions in cleaning our air. This week I asked our city’s Department of Sustainability to work with mayors and cities across the Wasatch Front to provide any resources we can to help them join this fight.”

The full brief is available here: http://web.law.columbia.edu/climate-change/clean-power-plan-amicus-brief

Local Students Encourage Water Conservation

At SLCgreen, we strive to inform residents about the actions they can take every day to reduce their impact on the environment and have a positive impact on our community.

And we absolutely love it when we get a little help!

As a project for their 7th grade ELP Utah Studies class, West High School students McKenzie Shaffer-Kay and Ella Beck have created a website that focuses on the facts of water conservation in Utah. The website also highlights the actions people can take at home to reduce their water use, save money and preserve this value resource.

Nice work, McKenzie and Ella!

Check out UtahWaterConservation.weebly.com.

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The University of Utah Explores Society, Water and Climate

The Utah College of Social and Behavioral Science hosted an intriguing breakfast presentation last Friday at the Red Butte Garden Classroom on the topics of Society, Water, and Climate.

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Drs. Rick Forster and Andrea Brunelle. Photo credit: Annette Barrett, University of Utah.

Drs. Rick Forster, Associate Dean for Research in the College of Social and Behavioral Science, and Andrea Brunelle, Geography Chair, presented on the University of Utah’s new interdisciplinary faculty cluster, an effort to focus research and use a multifaceted approach to addressing challenges related to society, water, and climate. The new faculty cluster includes an ecohydrologist, an air quality scientist and a glaciologist. The addition of a social or behavioral scientist is forthcoming. “This transformative cluster connects research on hydrology, air quality, climate change, societal response, and policy, seeking to meld multiple scientific perspectives to lead society towards sustainable water solutions in a changing world.” (Society, Water, and Climate)

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Dr. Rick Forster and Tyler Poulson, SLCgreen Photo credit: Annette Barrett, University of Utah.

Drs. Rick Forster and Andrea Brunelle also shared experiences and some great photos from their own field-based research.  Dr. Forster studies glaciers and seasonal snow cover response to climate change. He showed some incredible footage of dripping water, despite air temperatures well below freezing, found when ice cores were lifted to the surface at a research site in Greenland.  The water had come from a perennial aquifer under Greenland’s Ice Sheet.

“Climate change will bring increased temperatures combined with likely increases in the severity, frequency, and duration of weather extremes, such as droughts and floods. Changes in water availability due to climate change will be further complicated by use of water for agriculture, changes in land use, and population growth. In many regions of the world, issues centered on climate change and water availability will profoundly shape society in the next century. Addressing these issues requires a focused, transdisciplinary effort from scientists with expertise in society, water and climate.” (The Theoretical Framework of the Society, Water and Climate Research Cluster)

This collaborative approach is an important piece in finding sustainable solutions to issues of society, water, and climate in the future.

Mayor Becker Discusses Air Quality, Energy and Water

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Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker talks with P3 Utah in a recent podcast.

“Ralph Becker, Mayor of Salt Lake City, Utah,  visits with Steve Klass of P3 Utah about his work developing a world class livable city. Mayor Becker explains his accomplishments in terms of focus on air quality, setting net zero energy efficiency standards for buildings and watershed and recreation protection as part of the recently adopted Mountain Accord.

He explains the roles of local government, state and federal government in carrying out sustainability initiatives.  He explains the challenges he is leading the City to meet in continuing progress and expresses a desire for greater public engagement.  He says that there are trade-offs and learning at a community level necessary to live differently in order to truly make our metropolitan area more sustainable and adapt successfully to climate change. Listen and be inspired!”

Listen to the podcast here.

Volunteer along the Jordan River!

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Be a part of the biggest volunteer project of the year along the Jordan River Parkway!

Volunteer on Thursday morning, May 14th from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.  You can even “Get into the River” with canoe-based river cleanup in addition to trail-side service projects!

Jordan River Commission is providing each volunteer with:

  • One free ticket to a Real Monarchs game on May 16th
  • 40% off registration fees for the Jordan River Marathon (Full, Half and 5K)
  • A ticket for an opportunity drawing on May 30, 2015
  • A chance to win the Thistle Wrangler award for the most invasive thistle plants removed

Sign up to volunteer and join the fun here!

JordanRiverCleanUpEvent

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.