Salt Lake City

Public Utilities

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Water Conservation Plan 2020 FAQs

  • What is our water conservation goal?
  • Why do we need a conservation plan?
    • Utah State Code 73-10-52: Water Conservation Plan requires that water providers with more than 5,000 connections submit water conservation plans to the Utah Division of Water Resources every five years. The link to the State code is
    • Even without a state requirement, making and implementing a plan to reduce water use, increase water use  efficiency, and eliminate water waste makes sense.  
    • Planning allows the City to budget and innovate to help meet goals to benefit the water consumers.
    • Planning helps to ensure that conservation programing occurs throughout the service area, across all water connections, and for as many of our customers as possible.
    • Conservation planning helps in assessing water supply and demand, and to establish goals so that we know we are achieving and sustaining the necessary levels of water use reduction.
    • Conservation planning helps to ensure that water use reduction occurs in a manner that minimizes negative impacts to the community, our economy, or the environment.
  • Will my water rates increase?

Water rates will not increase as a result of this water conservation plan. However, Salt Lake City is planning incremental water rate increases over the next several years as part of a financial strategy to replace and rehabilitate aging water infrastructure, including water treatment plants, pipelines, and groundwater wells. The financial strategy includes a mixture of water use rates, revenue bonds, federal loans, grants, and impact fees.

  • Has the City completed conservation plans in the past?
    • Yes, Public Utilities has completed plans every five years since 1999 on behalf of the City. Previous plans can be viewed at [NOT posted yet – need to do this before the project page goes live]
  • How is this plan different from earlier plans?
    • Due to improvements in data collection, record keeping, and analytics, this plan provides greater detail in historical water use (Chapter 2) and goal setting (Chapter 3). These details include more in-depth analysis of water use by customer classification, and, as a result, allow for greater estimates for goals by customer classification. Additionally, conservation goals in this plan are expressed as 5-, 10-, and 40-year goals.
  • Are the goals identified in the plan permanent?
    • The goals expressed in Chapter 3 represent estimates of potential conservation based on current data. As more data is available, particularly through new metering technologies and improved Commercial/Industrial/Institutional analysis, these goals may be modified. We may also need to modify the goals should our water supply estimates change more than anticipated due to growth and climate change.
  • Is the City going to require me to remove my lawn to save water?
    • By adopting this plan and achieving the outlined conservation goals through the  implementation of the conservation program practices, it is hoped that we can avoid drastic measures. For example, our partnership with Utah State University (USU) has helped to identify a variety of lawn grasses that use less water and require less mowing and fertilizer. The Water Check program (another partnership with USU) helps homeowners and other property owners to optimize the efficiency of sprinklers to reduce water use on lawns. The planned installation of weather stations will provide data to optimize efficiency in outdoor watering practices.
  • I’ve read that Utah uses the second most water of all the states; does this plan go far enough to help use save water?
    • The conservation goals in this plan are based on extensive research and analysis of our water supply and demand. Additionally, these goals exceed those required by the recently published State Regional Conservation Goals. Lastly, these goals are not fixed, and may be amended to reflect changes in future water supply or demand.
  • Does the City plan to mandate these goals? Will I be fined if I don’t conserve enough?
    • These goals are simply that: goals to help us stay within our projected water supply. During times of water shortage or drought, there may be mandated water use reductions, but mandated reductions are not a part of the conservation plan. Developing a water conservation ethic in our everyday lives will help us to protect and sustain our current and future water supply, which has many benefits for our community and the environment. Conservation makes sense, even when not mandated.