When it comes to water, what would it take to get to the point where we turn on the faucet and nothing comes out?
“We almost saw that scenario in California this last summer, and frankly it didn’t take that many poor winters for California to experience the most severe drought on record.”
Utah wants to avoid this scenario, so during the 2016 Legislative session, a bill was passed granting an annual $950,000 to the USU Extension Water Conservation Initiative. This funding is provided in hopes of increasing research and education of water conservation. Dr. Ken White, dean of the College of Agriculture and Applied Sciences at USU, explained,
“It’s important for us moving forward to invest in conservation programs that will really make a difference. Studies have shown very clearly that water conservation is clearly the cheapest investment you can make in creating increased water availability.”
White said Utah is the second driest state in the country and currently has the highest water usage per capita. As Utah’s population continues to grow, White wants the legislature to see these projects as a vital way to ensure the states resources for the future.
“The definition of whether we’re in a water crisis or not, can turn fairly rapidly based on a poor winter. It’s always much better to be able to develop programs that help us conserve water in times when we don’t really need to. That sets the stage for when it becomes a real crisis -- we will have those plans in place to take us through those crisis times.”
The USU Extension Water Conservation Initiative will collaborate with every county to inform people on how to effectively use water.