Utah is implementing these water saving programs statewide

Secondary water metering could reduce water use by 20 to 30%.

An ambitious effort to conserve water used on lawns and gardens is underway across Utah.

In 2022, the Legislature passed HB242, requiring secondary water suppliers to install meters by 2030. Secondary water is untreated and pulled directly from reservoirs or rivers for outdoor or agricultural use. Some suppliers are exempt. Lawmakers appropriated $250 million worth of federal funds to accomplish the project.

The Division of Water Resources estimates that installing meters reduces water use by 20-30%.

On Tuesday morning, Utah Division of Water Resources director Candice Hasenyager told lawmakers that almost 30,000 meters were installed across the state so far. Another 85,000 meters should be installed by the end of 2026, Hasenyager said.

Cache, Weber, Utah, Davis, Salt Lake and Sanpete counties received the most grant funds so far, according to Hasenyager.

That’s a small portion of the meters Utah will need to install in just six years. Weber and Davis counties alone have around 150,000 secondary water connections, The Tribune previously reported.

Another program to help Utahns reduce water use is also taking off: a landscaping conversion incentive program. The average American family uses more than 100,000 gallons of water each year, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, mostly outside.

In 2023 Utahns replaced more than 3 million square feet of grass with water-efficient landscaping. Hasenyager estimated those conversions saved about 87 million gallons of water. This year the agency completed 500 landscaping conversion projects.

The Utah Water Savers program also provides rebates to households that switch to water-efficient toilets. “We’re also looking to expand water-saving devices into the commercial sector,” Hasenyager said.

Those interested in taking advantage of the rebate programs can go to utahwatersavers.com.

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