On a recent evening, I was walking around the east and south side of the Utah State Capitol building. The south east lawn was being watered by the Capitol grounds automated system, the sprinklers were putting out water in abundance — in the heat of the day. But worse was the vast amount of water flowing down the stairs, down the sidewalk, down the gutters. The sidewalk was awash with wasted sprinkler water.

Why not train the ground crew to tune the sprinkler system and then run it early in the morning, at 5 or 6 a.m., or later into the evening like 8 or 9 p.m.? Less water can be used, the water can soak in instead of evaporating in the afternoon heat and it is better for the lawn.

Utah is the second driest state in the United States. Our average per capita rate of water consumption ranks at or near the top of all 50 states and we have the highest birth rate in the U.S. Do the math — it won’t be long before we don’t have enough water. If there is a single building’s grounds in Utah that should offer the best example of water conservation, it is our State Capitol.

Hmmm, it looks like another failed opportunity at the Capitol — indoors in the legislative chambers and now the outside lawn — to do the right thing.

Jonathan C. Seegmiller, Salt Lake City