How Provo is helping to conserve water

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Water is a very precious natural resource, one that we may take for granted.

The city of Provo uses around 13 to 14 million gallons of water a day in the winter. It’s closer to 40 to 60 million in the summer.

“When we use water, it’s returned to the system. It either goes into Utah Lake or into the ground,” Provo Water Resources Department Engineer Shane Jones said.

Jones said reducing demand might seem like the most logical way to conserve water. However, he said it may not be the most effective here in the Great Salt Lake Basin. Instead, the key is to prevent evaporation.

“Our surface reservoirs, we’re living year to year. Like paycheck to paycheck,” Jones said.

More than half of the volume of Utah Lake evaporates every year, he said. The Great Salt Lake is even worse: It loses 2.6 billion gallons of water per day to evaporation. Only 5-7% fall back down in precipitation. The best way to keep water from leaving the basin is to store it underground, he said.

“The rest of it floats away, goes somewhere else,” Jones said.

The city of Provo is prioritizing moving water to aquifer storage underground, where it will be protected from evaporation, Jones said. The best way for people living in Provo to help with conservation efforts is not to use less water, but to use water wisely.

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