'Make Yellow Lawns Great Again:' Gov. Cox Issues Third Drought Executive Order

Jun 9, 2021

You may be seeing less green grass around as Gov. Cox askes Utahns to cut back on their watering habits in a press conference on Tuesday. This all comes after Cox announced he has issued a third executive order declaring a statewide drought emergency.

“Our snowpack this year was dismal and hasn't refilled our streams and reservoirs as we would normally expect," said Cox. "And with less water entering our lakes and reservoirs, we absolutely need everyone in this state regardless of where you live or what you do to conserve water.” 

As part of this executive order, Cox said that state facilities will be reducing their watering’s to twice a week in northern Utah and three days in southern. He asks those residential areas and businesses to follow suit with these watering practices. 

“Our purpose here today is multifaceted but one of those is to make yellow lawns great again, and we we want to let people know that it's going to be okay to have a yellow lawn this year," said Cox. "We want all of our all of our friends, HOA's and, cities and towns to know that this this is one of those years where it's going to be okay. Your lawn will be okay if it's yellow” 

Outdoor watering accounts for 60% of residential water use with an average quarter-acre plot of land using 3,000 gallons of water during a watering. 

Utah Department of Agriculture and Foods commissioner Craig Buttars said, farmers and ranchers need to find ways to adapt to the low water reserves. 

“Our producers are spending millions of dollars on their lands to conserve water. Planting crops that are more drought resistant is also another thing that our our farmers and ranchers are doing," said Buttars. "And also using grazing techniques to help preserve the land and water."

Cox said water decisions are made on the local level but the legislature is looking for broad ways to incentivize water conservation.