Enough Water for Our Needs


Utah is one of the driest states in the nation. Our water is precious, and developing new supplies will cost billions of dollars. If we want our children, grandchildren and new neighbors to be able to live here, we need to decide where the water will come from. Will we use less, take water from agriculture, or develop new supplies?

In the late 1990s, when Envision Utah did its first large visioning effort, the average person in the Greater Wasatch Area used 319 gallons of water per day. Since that time, we’ve cut our water consumption by 25%, saving trillions of gallons per year. This was achieved by using less land for new houses, with smaller lot sizes, which means less outdoor watering. Also, we’ve been smarter about when and how we use our water. Using less water means we spend less on pipes, water treatment facilities, and other infrastructure.

As we add another 2.5 million people by 2050, we will need to decide whether we will cut our water use even further—and how we can do so. We’ll also need to figure out how to fund needed repairs and new infrastructure to supply additional water where it’s needed. Will we move more water away from agriculture to serve our growing communities? As demand grows, it’s crucial that we find a way to balance competing water needs from agriculture, our homes and businesses, recreation and the natural environment.

Click here for more information on the State Water Strategy Advisory Team.

Click here for research and other resources on water issues.