OGDEN, Utah (ABC4) – Ogden City Water has issued a declaration of moderate water shortage, effective through October 15 or until further notice.
This declaration comes after the winter produced less snowpack than usual, resulting in Ogden’s primary water source, Pineview Reservoir, only filling up to 56% capacity. Low spring precipitation conditions and warm weather have caused water releases from the reservoir to outpace inflow.
Governor Spencer Cox recently declared a Weekend of Prayer, calling on Utahns to seek divine intervention to bring rain to the Beehive State.
Ogden City officials say applicable provisions of its Water Shortage Management Plan are in force, and all residents are asked to take the following steps to conserve water through the summer:
- Outdoor watering is prohibited between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.: This violation is enforceable by fines beginning at $50 for the first violation and ranging up with subsequent violations
- All residential water customers of Ogden City are encouraged to reduce their water use by at least five percent, and commercial water customers are encouraged to reduce their water use by at least fifteen percent
- Maintain and properly adjust your irrigation system to avoid wasting water. Adjust watering times based on weather. Grass needs less water than you think
- Avoid hard-surface washing of sidewalks and driveways (Except for health or safety)
- Use a positive pressure nozzle when washing vehicles
- Use a swimming pool cover when the pool is not in use. Lower the pool water level by four inches to minimize water loss from splashing
Ogden City’s Water Manager, Brady Herd, says “lawn irrigation is the largest culprit of water waste.
Overwatering, broken sprinklers, and excessive overspray can send thousands of gallons of water down the drain. Ogden City residents can contact City Water to get a free sprinkler checkup.
While drought is common in Utah, a majority of the state is currently experiencing exceptional drought.
Gov. Cox has already issued two drought emergency orders as extremely dry conditions impact the state’s agribusiness and livestock production, as well as wildlife and natural habitats. Dry conditions have also contributed to an increased threat of wildfire across the state.
Utah’s water bodies are seeing low levels already this year. Pineview Reservoir, usually fullest at the start of June, is seeing water levels 20 feet lower than normal – that’s 55% of the water the reservoir should have this time of year.
Oakley City, located in Summit County, has put a ban on any new construction projects that would tap into the city’s water as it faces a historic drought.
Salt Lake City recently triggered a Stage 2 water shortage response for the first time since 2004 due to the dramatically low mountain snowmelt and stream flows are to blame. The creeks supplying a portion of the water for more than 360,000 water customers are ranging from only 22% to 52% of average this year.
Utah County announced a state of emergency declaration amid the drought. It will now put an emphasis on educating the public the severity of the drought and its potential impact on water usage and wildfires.