Twelve Utah municipalities to offer discounted rainwater collection barrels
The Utah Rivers Council, along with 12 Utah municipalities announced Tuesday the start of this year’s initiative to distribute discounted rain collection barrels across the state.
Amid record drought, agricultural water demands and thirsty population growth, Utah’s water use is cause for concern. To reduce residential water-use, the Utah Rivers Council kicked off this year’s RainHarvest rain barrel program, which allows Utahns to purchase discounted rainwater collection barrels. The goal of the program is to reduce culinary water use by giving residents alternative water sources for landscaping and similar activities.
Todd Munger, Environmental Sustainability and Recovery Director for Lehi City said the barrels are a way to make a difference on an individual level.
“We hear a lot about the higher level policies that are occurring in the climate change environment. But as residents get down to this grassroots level, it's difficult to feel like you're doing anything, and the RainHarvest program enables that feeling of, okay, we're helping out,” Munger said.
The RainHarvest program has sold neary 8,000 rain barrels over the past eight years. Based on the number of barrels sold, the Utah Rivers Council estimates that as much as 400,000 gallons of water is saved each time it rains.
Zachary Frankel, Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council, said the majority of Utah’s water use isn’t residential, but everything helps.
“Everybody needs to pitch in and work together…there's no other way to move forward but together, working to save water for both the Great Salt Lake, and to reduce water demand for all of our rivers and streams,” Frankel explained.
Despite a good water year so far, Mayor Jeff Silvestrini of Millcreek shared the importance of water-saving infrastructure, like the rain barrels.
“We’re having a great snow year, and that's fantastic. But we live in the second driest state in this country and we have been in a multi-year megadrought, and so you know, while we all hope that that's over, we can't be sure of that,” Silvestrini emphasized.
See if you qualify for a subsidized rain barrel or learn more about the program at rainbarrelprogram.org.