Gov. Cox releases water conservation plan for Utah’s biggest users – farmers

Jul 27, 2022, 6:23 PM | Updated: Jul 28, 2022, 10:31 am

SALT LAKE CITY — Gov. Spencer Cox rolled out chapter three of his water conservation plan Wednesday which focused on water savings for Utah’s agriculture industry.

It’s a key part of the plan because agriculture is credited with about 70% of Utah’s water usage.

Part of the governor’s plan is to cut back on how much water is lost through evaporation.

That means farmers need to make some big upgrades.

“I think the most important thing we need to focus on in the state of Utah is we need to protect our agriculture industry,” said Rob Gibson, president of the Utah Farm Bureau.

He said while he is working to help implement the governor’s coordinated action plan for water, he’s concerned too many people have lost sight of how important agriculture is to all of us.

“We all want to have open agriculture, we want to have open space in our community right? And that’s going what agriculture provides for us. And every time I see a subdivision go in, we lose a piece of the history of the state of Utah,” Gibson added.

It’s a piece of the picture that’s slowly chipped away as new developments move in.

Gibson said many farmers are already using their water smarter.

About a third of his own farm is among the growing number using drip irrigation, but it takes an investment.

Cox said he is there to help.

“We just got an additional $70 million from the legislature that will go to agricultural optimization,” he said.

Gov. Cox dives deep into Utah’s water challenges, future and shrinking GSL

That money can be used on more effective irrigation and better nutrient management plans for the soil.

Cox’s plan also pushes for more use of public lands for grazing and relaxing so-called “use it or lose it” rules on water rights.

Gibson said, “I think it’s really important that we look at the science and utilize that science and technology to make sure that we move forward in the right direction.”

He said it’s important to consider that flood irrigation helps replenish the ecosystem and send water into the Great Salt Lake.

Drip irrigation may not make sense everywhere but Gibson is also looking into new ways to cut back on evaporation loss before the water gets to the farmers.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Utah's Water

The Stockton town council is holding an emergency meeting Thursday to discuss an ongoing water cris...
Jed Boal

Large crowd expected for emergency water meeting in Stockton Thursday night

The town of Stockton in Tooele County is up against several critical water issues heading into an emergency meeting with the town council and mayor Thursday.
1 month ago
(Great Salt Lake State Park & Marina )...
Cary Schwanitz

Great Salt Lake State Park and Marina closes boat ramp

As water levels at the Great Salk Lake continue to set record lows. the Great Salt Lake Park and Marina closed the boat ramp on Thursday.
1 month ago
In this aerial view, low water levels are visible at Lake Powell on June 24, 2021 in Lake Powell, U...
Jed Boal

‘Everyone’s going to have to live with less water’ Interior Department says of Colorado River

As the drought crisis intensified across the West, the Department of the Interior Tuesday announced urgent actions to improve and protect the future of the Colorado River System. They’re calling for swift action by everyone in the system.
1 month ago
(Jed Boal/KSL TV)...
Jed Boal

Utah water board taking steps to meter secondary water connections by 2030

One of the biggest water conservation projects in the history of Utah was on the table at the Division of Water Resources Thursday. The water board reviewed 70 grant applications for projects that would put meters on more than 100,000 secondary water connections.
2 months ago
FILE: (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images)...
Madison Swenson

Washington County implements most restrictive water ordinances in Utah

The largest cities in Washington County have implemented new water ordinances to help protect water resources in what a press release called the nation's fastest growing region.
2 months ago
FILE: An active Monsoon season will not have an impact on Utah's drought. (Pineview reservoir file ...
Jed Boal

Salt Lake City ends July with all-time record high temperatures

For the second straight year, Salt Lake City set a record for the hottest July. This year it was more than one-and-a-half degrees hotter than a year ago.
2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

young woman throwing clothes to organize a walk in closet...
Lighting Design

How to organize your walk-in closet | 7 easy tips to streamline your storage today

Read our tips to learn how to organize your walk-in closet for more storage space. These seven easy tips can help you get the most out of your space.
Types of Computer Malware and Examples...
PC Laptops

5 Nasty Types of Computer Malware and Examples | Everything You Need to Know to Keep Your Computer and Family Safe

Here are the different types of computer malware and examples that could potentially infect your computer.
tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Gov. Cox releases water conservation plan for Utah’s biggest users – farmers