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Gov. Gary Herbert banned midday outdoor watering at state government facilities Wednesday.

He also directed agencies to use water-saving technology such as rain and soil-moisture sensors and to fix leaks in plumbing or sprinkler systems.

The water-conservation moves were part of an executive order Herbert signed to deal with the drought.

He said state government "has an obligation to lead by example" to get "the best bang for the drop of water we can."

The order prohibits watering state lawns — including the grassy approaches to the Utah Capitol ­— between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

No water rationing or other mandatory conservation steps are planned for residents or private businesses, Herbert said. But he encouraged voluntary wise water-use practices.

"If we all work together, we're going to get through this fine. This is a problem, it's a challenge, but it's not a crisis that we cannot meet."

While government efforts can result in significant water savings, he said it's not enough.

"We can't do it all in government. We need to have the private sector step up and find ways to conserve water. ... It's going to be all of us, all 3 million Utahns, working together to get us through this challenging time with the drought."