Salt Lake City—In conjunction with Utah’s Water Week, the Salt Lake Chamber, in partnership with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation, hosted the third annual “Utah: Water is Your Business” Forum. The forum was an opportunity for business leaders to learn from local and national water experts about best practices and discuss how businesses can get involved in addressing Utah’s water challenges.
“Water can fuel business growth, economic development and social wellbeing,” said Will Sarni, Founder and CEO of Water Foundry. “If you have water, you can drive your business growth — not just locally, but globally.”
The event also highlighted businesses from across the state that are already leading the way in water efficiency and optimization. Water Champions are Utah businesses that recognize the crucial role water plays in the continued economic vitality of the state by focusing on water optimization, conservation and/or best water management practices.
Here are just a few of the businesses highlighted as Utah Water Champions:
- Orbit Irrigation Products estimates that it has saved millions of gallons of water through the production and promotion of smart irrigation products that help change the watering behavior of its customers.
- Swire Coca-Cola works to implement conservation projects that restore the water supplies of natural water bodies like rivers, wetlands and aquifers. In 2016, they returned approximately 272 million liters of water to nature and communities across several western states.
- Garbett Homes launched the “Flip Your Strip” initiative that was designed to reduce up to 10,000 gallons of water a year in landscaped park strips in their communities.
The Chamber’s Water Champions program seeks to remove barriers to business water conservation and optimization efforts through education, outreach and recognition. The program also provides resources and tools for small and medium sized businesses to become more water-wise.
Lane Beattie, president and CEO of the Salt Lake Chamber said, “By recognizing that water is an economic and not just an environmental issue, Utah businesses are stepping up and doing their part to help ensure our state has a strong water future in addition to a high quality of life, excellent business climate and robust economy.”
A second initiative was announced at the “Utah: Water is Your Business” Forum. The Water Smart Innovation Challenge offers grants to winning innovators and entrepreneurs to develop innovative solutions that will improve Utah’s water future and help businesses and citizens optimize the way they use water. In total, the available grants will equal nearly $300,000 and will require a direct partnership with industry.
The Water Smart Innovation Challenge is a partnership between the Salt Lake Chamber, Orbit Irrigation Products, Utah State University, Utah Science and Technology Research (USTAR), the Governor’s Office of Energy Development, and the Utah Division of Water Resources.
Applications open on May 30th. Stay up to date and get application information at utahcorporateresponsibility.com/water.