LAYTON, Utah (ABC4) – The drought continues to hit the state hard. Even though spring just arrived, watering restrictions are already being implemented for this summer. For the 700,000 people who live in the five counties within the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, secondary water consumption will be restricted up to 60 percent after it’s turned on later in May.
“We’re actually in a worse situation this year than we were last year,” Weber Basin Water Conservancy District Assistant General Manager John Parry told ABC4. “If you look at the snow-water equivalence, we’re at 65 percent of our median for this time of year and only 58 percent of the median peak.” Parry explained that this is about 10 percent lower than the same time last year.
As the drought continues to hit the state hard, Parry emphasized the need for Utahns to become drought resilient. He said making changes like looking for turf areas in one’s yard that are not used and could be converted into something else as well as getting a secondary water meter. “This isn’t the only time it’s happened,” he added. “It won’t be the last time it happens.”
The district supplies more than just secondary water. It also supplies drinking water. With reserves low, restrictions on secondary water are being implemented once again this summer. “As we look at our inventories, what’s really critical right now is that we ensure that within our storage and within our supplies, we have adequate drinking water supply looking into the future, so now, and for next year,” Pary stated.
Parry said secondary water users will have to cut their consumption by 60 percent this year. As for those working in agriculture, their consumption will be cut by 40 percent. The public is also asked to reduce their indoor, culinary water use by 10 percent.
More on what customers can expect this summer (as well as additional drought information) can be found here.
Along with the water conservancy district, the Utah Division of Water Resources is working to keep Utahns up to date on the drought throughout the warmer months. Each week throughout the season, the DNR will release a lawn watering guide. This first being released on Saturday. For this first week, all Utah counties (except for Washington County) are asked not to irrigate their lawns. If needed, those in Washington County are asked to limit irrigation to one time. For those who do not irrigate, the equivalent would be 20 minutes with pop-up spray heads, or 40 minutes with impact rotor sprinklers.