WaterNow and Western Resource Advocates worked with the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD) to identify multiple ways its member agencies can meet their new water efficiency standards.
Like many of its peers throughout Utah and the West, Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District (JVWCD) faces challenges with water supply, population growth, climate change, and drought. In response, JVWCD has adopted new water efficiency standards to be implemented by its member agencies in the next few years, thereby improving water security and reliability throughout JVWCD’s service area. Utah’s current plumbing code limits the ability of local jurisdictions to adopt their own efficiency standards, so JVWCD is interested in exploring options to improve Utah’s plumbing code for water efficiency. JVWCD is also interested in improving its model ordinance and identifying best practices for assisting member agencies with implementation of water efficiency standards. WaterNow helped to create a model landscape ordinance that includes best practices for water efficient landscaping in multiple sectors.
WaterNow and WRA conducted a systematic comparison of JVWCD’s Model Landscape Ordinance (MLO) and Water Efficiency Standards (WES) and ultimately produced recommendations for JVWCD to update and improve the WES. JVWCD is currently in the process of reviewing all of the recommendations developed during this project, and the timeline for any updates or adoption of the recommendations has not been determined. WaterNow and WRA will continue to stay in touch with JVWCD regarding these standards to learn how they will be updating them in the coming years.
While WaterNow and WRA were not engaged in any lobbying-related to this project or topic, JVWCD staff communicated to WaterNow and WRA in September 2021 that they were in discussions with a state legislator about developing legislation to update the state’s indoor plumbing standards. This research conducted for this project helped lay the groundwork for SB73 which was introduced during Utah’s 2022 legislative session by Sen. Jani Iwamoto. This bill would modify Utah’s state plumbing code to require EPA WaterSense fixture efficiency standards like Colorado and Nevada. This bill passed in the Senate but did not pass the House. WRA and WaterNow will closely track this topic in future legislative sessions.
(photo credit: Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District)