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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
so, everyone has repeated it so many times, we all assume that Utah is city central for wasting water... its bs.
the latest figures:
salton sea area (indio, palm desert Calexico) - 314 gallons per day
southern Nevada - 228 gpd
Wasatch front 224 gpd
se Wyoming (Cheyenne) 207 gpd
central az (phoenix) 195 gpd
Denver, front range 180 gpd
so California 170 gpd.

compare Denver to slc... we use 224 gpd, they use 180 gpd - we use more. the answer is in summer precip. they get monsoon rains of 3 inches per month in summer, slc gets next to nothing. if we had rain like that we would be absolutely comparable in water use. we are comparable to many other areas who don't have summer rain.

since 2008, we have decreased water consumption by 18% (municipal/industrial) well on our way to the 25% goal. with some new technologies, metering, monitoring, etc and some advancements in some of the new turf grasses being developed - (some can go 30 to 50 days without substantial watering and still have a nice green look and soft feel) there is a lot of future potential in conservation, development, etc.

and - as a ranking in water development and preparation - looking forward 20 + years, Utah ranks highest out of all western states. that aint not bad.
 

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Per person ranking? I wonder how that would translate to per household, since Utah has about 2 more people per household than most of the places you list.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
gary, those gpd are gallons per day per household... not per person. if we went by person, the overall figures would be much lower since we have a higher number of persons per household.
 

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Randy, do you have any numbers that may indicate that the water consumption of irrigated yards/golf courses may be affecting water levels in the Great Salt Lake? Or, in your professional opinion is the GSL levels all climatologically related?
 

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so, how do we keep more water in the streambeds???
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
here are some advancements in ag - precision agriculture. using remote sensing to determine not only when to irrigate but what parts of the field need how much water in order to maximize crop production and minimize water use. and some turf tests - to assist the M&I users with grass's that use the least amount of water possible... there are lots of really great things that are going on in the conservation arena both in ag and other areas and a lot of that research is right here at home in Utah at usu, u and even lesser universities like why?
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
on the great salt lake... this one has been around the block several times. in the 60's there was a great fear the lake would go dry, with good reason. as water use on the bear, weber and provo increases, lake inflow goes down. pretty simple. then we had the 80's and the great floods, lake came back to record highs. lake is back down. the salient question is will it come back, stabilize or continue down. as levels decline you get a diminishing return so to speak, higher salinity reduces evaporation so the lake will likely never to entirely dry. but it could get a lot lower than current levels. the railroad is going to put a bridge in the causeway that will, in theory equalize north and south arms but because of inflow differences, salinity might always be different. water is never lost, over irrigation goes to ground water and ground water eventually ends up on the lowest place with permeability... in this case great salt lake or lower. but it may take decades or even hundreds of years to make the trip subsurface and it may acutally come out in other places depending on subsurface impermeable layers, etc. the dominant forces in the lake level are the inflows - so climatology is the big one. how much the weber, bear and provo kick in minus what we consumptively use as we drop much of our treated wastewater into the lake.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
PBH - how do we keep more water in the streams?
that is a political question and answer, not a science one. the science answer is simple, don't take water out of the stream keeps more in.
the political answer is...
 

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I have a leak in the main that runs along my property line. In spring it will seep to the surface. The water company has been out to fix it twice but it still leaks. They're not coming out a third time unless there is a claim for property damage.

My point is that the water companies know they leak half as much as the deliver. And it's not a big deal because water is not lost. It just goes back to the aquifer.

Im guessing .00009% of our water goes to golf coarse's.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
one interesting thing about conservation and water re-use regarding the great salt lake: much of the water we use in our homes is not consumptively used so to speak. that is to say, lost from the system - just that which we drink or evaporate. the rest is used in toilets, washers, dishes, etc and goes to treatment. from treatment back to the river and to the lake. or... to agriculture and the more we do that, the less goes to the lake. in some areas of the state, up to 90% of this recycled water is now being used for other purposes... mostly a great thing. in some cases there is collateral damage.
 

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PBH - how do we keep more water in the streams?
that is a political question and answer, not a science one. the science answer is simple, don't take water out of the stream keeps more in.
the political answer is...
political answer is: change the laws to allow water rights for non-consumptive use.

Right now, water rights can only be used to take water OUT of the streams.
 
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