EnvironmentAL Quality

Issue Background

The factors affecting environmental quality within Cedar City are important to everyone, and therefore, directly affect the quality of life for its residents. ‘Environmental quality’ refers to the values related to natural resources, retention and enhancement of the existing open spaces, special geological elements, energy, scenic corridors, environmental hazards, conservation efforts, water resources, and air quality.

When surveyed as part of the general plan update in 2021, Cedar residents expressed a strong concern about the amount and quality of water that is available for new development. This is not an unfounded concern – particularly in years of drought.  In 2016, the State Water Engineer announced that groundwater rights in Iron County were over-appropriated. This is evidenced by a net loss of water in the Cedar Valley aquifer. Though there have been aquifer recharge initiatives in recent years, the impact of these efforts remains to be seen.

The Utah Prarie Dog was listed as an endangered species in 1973, making development in Iron County difficult for many years. In recent years, the federal government is working with the state of Utah and other partners to prepare a conservation plan that is intended to streamline the process for development permitting.

Emerging Issues

  • Continued demand for community growth will put strain on the function of the area’s natural systems (i.e. water supply and air quality), but because Cedar is identified in part by its outdoor recreation amenities, future growth may also threaten the local economy.
  • Air quality is not currently a high concern in Cedar, but steps need to be taken now to ensure that the City protects it into the future.
  • Major events that affect the environment near Cedar City, like the Brian Head fire in 2017, have the potential to significantly impact the Cedar economy.
  • Click here to email the consulting team with your ideas regarding environmental quality in Cedar City.

Potential Goals and Investments

  1. (from previous plan)  Clearly define natural or environmental hazards within the City that may affect health, safety, and quality of life.
  2. (from previous plan)  Continue expanding and developing the quality, availability, delivery, and use of water resources consistent with the highest professional standards and community expectations.
  3. (from previous plan)  Control and monitor surface and groundwater pollution sources to provide a healthy environment.
  4. (from previous plan)  Develop a Water Conservation Plan that encourages citywide water conservation methods in order to reduce use, conserve resources, and reduce infrastructure costs.
  5. (from previous plan)  Assure that the air quality within Cedar City provides a healthy environment for residents.

Contacts + Reference Materials

  • …more coming soon…