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The western water outlook isn’t getting any better.

Indeed, as a spring-like winter actually becomes spring, the prospect of Mother Nature providing enough moisture to replenish reservoirs and aquifers is bleak.

Therefore, conservation must become the mindset!

The man who manages much of the west’s water infrastructure reinforced that message during a recent visit with KSL. Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner John Keys says the reservoirs are operating as intended: they’re still storing water into the fifth year of drought.

"How long it lasts, we don’t know. We always are encouraging people to conserve water, to stretch their water to make it last longer and certainly not waste it."

KSL believes his advice to conserve must be taken seriously.

It’s why we commend Salt Lake City’s announced plan to implement graduated water rates. Other municipalities and water districts ought to consider similar rate restructuring to reward those customers who use less, while penalizing high and excessive water users.

But higher rates, alone, won’t result in long-term water conservation. Effective education and enhanced regulation must be part of the overall strategy.

KSL agrees with Commissioner Keys when he says it is critical to find ways to wisely use and stretch the available supply of precious water.

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