May 6th marks the start of State Water Week in Utah, an annual celebration of our most precious natural resource: water. The Utah Legislature established Water Week in 2007, with then-Governor Jon Huntsman Jr., signing it into law.
“Here in Salt Lake City we have a well-kept secret,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “It’s our water. It’s clean, pure and tasty right from the tap. And it’s on all of us to make sure it stays that way by protecting and conserving it.”
Coinciding with the American Water Works Association’s national campaign, State Water Week is an opportunity for the water industry to promote a deeper understanding of all-things water within our communities. Drinking water, stormwater, source protection, wastewater, conservation, watershed protection, and more: They are all connected and they are a part of Water Week.
Simple ways residents can conserve water include:
- Sign up for a free water check to determine efficient watering levels
- Adjust sprinkler controllers to reflect the season and weather, including shutting off during rainstorms
- Check sprinkler systems for broken or misaligned spray heads
- Check indoor faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair promptly
- Take advantage of the City’s water-saving tips and landscape information
To celebrate Water Week, Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities is hosting a series of events, including a Salt Lake City schools field day at the 900 South Stormwater Wetland, and a tree planting event with a local veterans group. Elementary school students will also visit Tracy Aviary in Liberty Park during the week to learn about the symbiotic relationship between clean storm water and bird life on canals, rivers and the Great Salt Lake, where the City’s storm water eventually ends up. The message “we all live downstream” is alive and well in 2018.
The Intermountain Section of the American Water Works Association (IMS-AWWA) is providing water themed books to libraries throughout Utah and Idaho. It Starts with a Raindrop/Comienza con una gota lluvia, by Michael Smith, with illustrations by Angela Alvarenga and Jonathon E. Goley, celebrates the “beauty and wonder of the water cycle” through rhyming text and realistic illustrations.
IMS-AWWA also provided A Drop of Water: A Book of Science and Wonder, by Walter Wick, which fits with school STEM programs. Check with your local library about availability.
The backdrop to this year’s Water Week activities is a Stage 1 Water Conservation Advisory in the City, which Mayor Biskupski issued in April. The advisory is the least restrictive of the City’s five-stage Water Shortage Contingency Plan. Stage 1 is voluntary and meant to be educational—with conservation messaging to residents and businesses. The City’s water storage for summer appears to be adequate, with reservoirs filled to 90 percent or better. But even simple conservation efforts will help extend that water supply on hot and dry days when demand is highest.
For more information, visit: www.slcgov.com/waterconservation
About Salt Lake City Public Utilities
Established in 1876, the Salt Lake City Public Utilities Department works every day to ensure your water comes to you clean and pure. As the oldest retail water provider in the West, environmental stewardship and a commitment to protecting the Wasatch watershed is on the minds of every team member.
We will always protect this precious resource.
Contributed by Stephanie Duer, Water Conservation Manager for Salt Lake City Department of Public Utilities, as part of an occasional series with water-saving tips.