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It’s not too early in the year for Utahns to renew their commitment to a mindset of conserving water, our most precious natural commodity.
The storms of January and February offered hope our prolonged drought was over. For a time, the snow pack in the mountains statewide actually measured above normal. But a dry March and unusually high seasonal temperatures so far this month bring the realization the drought continues.
In recent years Utahns have demonstrated they can, indeed, get along with less water. They’ve responded favorably to pleas for conservation. With the exception of some in agriculture, most residents have barely been affected. Lawns, for the most part, have remained green. Gardens have survived. Cars get washed. Indoor needs are met. Life, for the most part, proceeds normally.
With each warm day, though, more of this year’s snow pack evaporates away. Even normal spring and summer rains wouldn’t necessarily end what is becoming a prolonged drought of historic proportions. As one federal water expert recently pointed out, “if we simply have nothing but normal conditions, it will take 15 to 20 years to rebuild the (reservoirs and aquifers) to average levels.”*
In KSL’s view, it is imperative for a conservation mindset, now and in the future, to become part of every Utahn’s nature.
*Bennett Raley, Assistant Interior Secretary, Deseret Morning News, March 10, 2004