Utah Rivers Council introduces rain barrels as way to conserve ground water

Posted at 8:09 PM, May 19, 2015
and last updated 2015-05-19 22:09:40-04

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah -- Hundreds of Utahns have invested in a new rain harvest program in effort to conserve water.

With the use of rain barrels, those participating in the program are collecting rain water, which keeps them from wasting ground water in the future.

Last month the Utah Rivers Council initially made 1,000 55-gallon rain barrels available to Utah residents. In less than a month every barrel was sold.

“Our phone has not stopped ringing since we had our rain harvest event,” said Nick Schou with the Utah Rivers Council. “I'm constantly being flooded with phone calls and emails from people wanting to know how they can get their barrels and that's really a great sign because people are hungry to do more to reduce our nation leading water use.”

The council is now working to provide more barrels, which should be for sale within the next month or so. Right now there is a waiting list of at least 50 people wanting to get a barrel.

Those who have the barrels have already seen their benefits. The containers are filled with rain water after the rainstorms that pounded northern Utah over the past few days. The collected rain is enough to water a lawn and garden for weeks.

The council says between 70 to 75 percent of water used in Utah is for outdoor needs. And that Utah uses more water per person, per day than any other state.

“I'm sure this rain has really helped people understand that they could be using this rain it's just been falling on us every day and if they just had the tools they needed we could use this rain,” Schou said.

The Utah Rivers Council is also trying to partner up with various counties and cities when it comes to promoting and selling these rain barrels.

So far Salt Lake County and the city of Murray are on board. As of last month the barrels cost $40 if you lived in Salt Lake County and $75 if you lived outside the county.