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Want to save more water next year? Money flowing for secondary metering

The third round of funding opened by the state for secondary water meters

SHARE Want to save more water next year? Money flowing for secondary metering

A water meter cover is pictured in Salt Lake City on Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020.

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

It is not too early for Utah water providers to seek avenues for cutting back on outdoor water consumption.

In fact, the third round of funding for secondary water meters opened Monday and continues to Jan. 6.

“This is an exciting time for water in the state of Utah. The Legislature has prioritized water conservation like never before,” Candice Hasenyager, director of the Division of Water Resources, said. “Once these meters are installed, they will provide accurate data that will be beneficial to water planning and conservation.”

Through the first two rounds, the state Board of Water Resources authorized over $190 million towards secondary water metering. Systems that have installed secondary meters have seen a 20%-30% reduction in water use simply by informing customers how much water they use. These grant funds are for secondary water providers, not residents. 

State hopes rural water districts apply

The division sent letters and emails to many of the secondary water providers throughout the state in an effort to increase the number of applicants in this round.

“Many of the larger secondary water systems already know about the division’s funding opportunities and have applied for funding,” Marisa Egbert, the division’s funding section manager, said. “We are trying to reach out to the smaller secondary systems and rural communities that have not received grant funding yet.” 

“We appreciate all the secondary water providers who have taken this opportunity that will help the state stretch our water supply,” said Hasenyager. “As we battle drought, measuring and tracking our water is extremely important.”

Based on previous applications, the division estimates the grant funds will cover the costs to purchase and install around 114,000 secondary water meters. The estimated amount of water expected to be conserved is approximately 54,000 acre-feet of water, or about how much water is in East Canyon Reservoir.

Approximately $58 million is remaining in grant funds out of the $250 million allocated by the Legislature. Grant funds can cover up to 70% of the project costs.

For more information and to apply for funding, click on the following link: Secondary Meter Grants.

Last session the state Legislature spent an historic amount on water saving measures — $500 million — and it will continue efforts, given the pressure of drought and population growth.