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Politics & Government

Gov. Spencer Cox Says Better Water Storage Is Needed To Address Western U.S. Drought

Governor Cox Face The Nation
Emily Means/ KUER
Gov. Spencer Cox listed better water conservation and storage as “necessary” responses to the drought.

Utah Gov. Spencer Cox joined CBS’ Face the Nation Sunday to talk about the state’s historic drought.

Cox said the first “necessary” response is water conservation. “Every person in our state has to use less water,” he said.

Some Utah cities, like Ogden and Lehi, have restrictions in place to help mitigate this year’s drought.

At the state level, Cox has issued three executive orders tightening water use at state facilities. He said he’s also been talking with other governors in the West about the importance of smart water storage.

“We're not doing a great job of that anymore,” Cox said. “Storing water above ground and underground as well will make a big difference, as we are also the fastest growing state in the nation, so we have to be prepared for generations to come.”

He said Congress’ bipartisan infrastructure proposal includes money for those types of water projects.

Looking further ahead, though, Cox said people need to understand the long-term impacts of climate change.

“So we have to do better there, and Utah is doing better,” he said. “We're cutting back on emissions here in the state of Utah. We're working on electric car infrastructure across the West. But we also have to take the short-term impacts and take them very seriously.”

Currently, 98% of the state is experiencing extreme drought conditions.

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