Gov. Spencer Cox issues drought order, bans fireworks on state land

The governor says this year’s drought could be the worst on record.

(Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune) The Jones family puts on their own holiday fireworks show in front of their home along 500 East near Liberty Park in Salt Lake City on Saturday, July 4, 2020.

Gov. Spencer Cox is asking Utahns to reduce their lawn watering as the state faces a severe drought.

Cox issued an executive order on Tuesday which says state entities in northern Utah shall only water their lawns two times per week. In southern Utah, the watering regime is three times per week. The order asks cities to follow the same watering guidelines.

The order says residents can help conserve water by watering their lawns one less time per week and prioritizing the their most important plants. Trees and shrubs should be watered before grass, according to the order. Grass is resilient and will recover when the drought ends. People can also help their grass by not cutting it too short. Longer grass has deeper roots, which means the plant can access water deeper in the soil.

“All indicators show this could be the worst drought year on record,” Cox said in a news release. “Utah state government is leading the way by cutting back on water use at all state facilities, but all of us — from private businesses to local governments to individuals — need to conserve water now more than ever.”

Cox also announced that fireworks are banned on state land and unincorporated private land because of the wildfire risk they pose.