Riverton mayor urges water conservation

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RIVERTON, Utah (ABC4) – Riverton is the latest Utah city to urge its residents to conserve water amid widespread drought and dry conditions.

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Riverton Mayor Trent Staggs issued a statement on Sunday, encouraging residents to do what they can to conserve water.

“I believe we all need to be more water conscious and work to conserve both in the household and in our irrigation practices. Changing our habits to make conservation part of our everyday lives will help us ensure we always have enough of this vital resource.”

Every county in Utah is experiencing drought, according to the U.S. Drought Monitor. Governor Spencer Cox has already issued two drought emergency orders, and recently called on Utahns to pray for rain.

Riverton City operates culinary and secondary (pressurized irrigation) water systems. Culinary water is purchased wholesale from the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District.

According to city officials, Riverton is unique, offering every residential address secondary water access for a flat monthly rate based on lot size, which most cities cannot or do not provide. This system pulls water from water shares in several local canals that distribute water from Utah Lake.

“If drought conditions ultimately worsen, it’s possible that supply of water will not meet demand,” says Trace Robinson, public works director for Riverton City. “We would hate for that to ever happen, which is why we are urging folks to start conserving now and begin adopting best practices to limit water usage in the future.”

City officials explain there is not a shortage of supply for culinary or pressurized irrigation water for residents. Riverton residents are encouraged to follow water conservation practices

The following water conservation practices are encouraged for Riverton residents:

  • Follow the Weekly Lawn Watering Guide, published by the Utah Division of Water Resources.
  • Purchase a smart controller for your irrigation system and apply for a rebate from Utah Water Savers.
  • Adjust sprinklers to avoid watering sidewalks and driveways, where possible.
  • Consider changing your landscaping to a Localscape or xeriscape.
  • Consider participating in the Flip Your Strip program.
  • Clean sidewalks and driveways with a broom rather than water.
  • Reduce shower time.
  • Only run washing machines with a full load.
  • Consider replacing toilets made prior to 1994.

Riverton officials say the city is currently in the process of installing an advanced metering infrastructure system. Once installed and activated, the system will provide city utility customers real-time access to culinary water usage, the ability to detect leaks or irregularities, and the ability to see and measure usage over time.

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.

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