Governor's Position on Water


  • When our pioneer ancestors made the desert blossom as a rose, they understood they could not do it without water. What was true then is also true for us today.
  • Water is the lifeblood of Utah.
  • A lack of water or poor quality water increases health care costs, discourages tourists and businesses from coming to our state, and provides people with a negative perception of Utah.
  • Ensuring the quality and quantity of Utah's water is critically important to our health, economy and quality of life.


Develop water funding policies and mechanisms that ensure:

  • Utah has a sufficient, safe, and reliable water supply to meet the appropriate needs of a growing population -- one that balances residential, economic development, recreation, agricultural, and environmental uses;
  • limited water resources are being used wisely and beneficially and an appropriate alignment exists between the cost of water and the use of water;
  • the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams is protected to sustain their beneficial uses;
  • the watersheds in our forests and rangelands that are so critical to our water supply are protected; and
  • the State of Utah maintains an appropriate role that is fiscally prudent and sustainable.


  • Concerned by drought conditions caused by an abnormally dry winter, the governor issued an executive order instituting water conservation practices for all state agencies in Utah.
  • Worked with the Utah Legislature and stakeholders across a broad spectrum to maintain the quality and quantity of our existing water sources, reduce water usage by 25 percent by 2025, and find new sources of water.
  • The governor is developing a 50-year water strategy plan to advance conservation practices across the state, and has directed the Governor's Office of Management and Budget to develop recommendations for long-term water financing.
  • Invested more than $15 million in the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (W.R.I.) since 2005 and leveraged more than $100 million in partner contributions.
  • The Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (W.R.I.) has restored the health of over one million acres of critical watersheds and rangeland over the past decade, including:
    • Over 473,000 acres damaged by wildfire,
    • Another 550,000 acres treated to improve forage, increase water yield and turn back invasive species.