Our hearts go out to Californians suffering intensively destructive wildfires ignited in bone-dry hillsides. Those fires should remind Utahns of our own vulnerability.

The 2018 water year was the driest in Utah history (“How dry is Utah?” Salt Lake Tribune, Oct. 10). NOAA reports 2017 was the warmest non-El Niño year ever recorded worldwide. A crucial link between these facts is that each is related to manmade global warming and expected to get worse, depending on how the world responds.

Higher temperatures lead to decreased snowpack and increased rainfall, but rain is not as reliable as mountain snows for our water.

National Weather Service senior hydrologist Brian McInerney confirms that measures to increase water conservation are needed in Utah’s semiarid climate. You could start by converting your curb strip grass to water-wise planting and save 5,000 to 8,000 gallons per year. Utah Water Savers will partially reimburse you for that good deed.

Even better, go beyond personal measures and strike at the source of the growing problem — increasing greenhouse gas concentrations due to human activity. Let us take the advice of William Nordhaus, awarded the Nobel Prize in economics last month, and urge our lawmakers to put a price on carbon.

David Ryser, Sandy