SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Amid concerns over an abnormally dry winter, Gov. Gary Herbert issued an executive order Wednesday instituting water conservation practices for state agencies in Utah.

The executive order regulates how state-owned buildings will manage and conserve water. These changes include alterations to state watering and irrigation practices and upgrades to existing water infrastructure.

“Water is one of the state’s most critical resources,” said Gov. Herbert. “Over the past several weeks I have received regular updates from my Water Conservation Team including representatives from our water districts. It is clear we need to do everything we can to conserve our water supply, and that includes the state government. We have an obligation to lead by example.”

The governor is currently developing a 50-year water strategy plan to advance conservation practices across the state. Due to the significant impact water has on Utah’s economy, the governor directed the Governor’s Office of Management and Budget (GOMB) to develop recommendations for long-term water financing.

The executive order directs the Division of Facilities Construction and Management to assist agencies at all state owned and managed buildings to:

  • Prohibit watering of landscapes between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.
  • Update irrigation technology to control watering relative to the amount of rainfall reaching the landscape.
  • Replace inefficient plumbing fixtures with ultra-low-flow fixtures, as appropriate.
  • Audit and repair all landscape irrigation systems so they are operating efficiently.
  • Implement leak-detection and repair programs for both indoor and outdoor water use.
  • Conduct periodic checks of facility restrooms, boiler rooms, etc., to ensure appliances are working at maximum efficiency.
  • Evaluate opportunities to limit turf areas surrounding facilities.
  • Update facility management technology to include metering for water-consuming processes related to irrigation, domestic and mechanical systems.
  • Use a water budgeting tool to consistently evaluate and establish an appropriate water allowance for the facility landscape.
  • Where appropriate, follow the conservewater.utah.gov weekly lawn watering guide.

Gov. Herbert also encouraged all Utahns to do their part to conserve water throughout the summer by implementing water-saving tips available at slowtheflow.org.

A PDF of the signed executive order is available here.