Layton recently enacted a landscape ordinance amendment that focuses largely on using more drought-resistant landscaping, eliminating the need to maintain ornamental grass in new developments, with the exception of single-family homes.
Now, based on the numbers available through the end of June, Layton City officials say their residents have voluntarily conserved water well.
“We were confident our residents would respond to the information provided,” says Stephen Jackson, Layton City Engineer, “and they have. However, we’re not in any position to relax those efforts – it’s only July.”
While April and May temperatures for 2020 and 2021 were within one degree of each other, Layton residents have used 94.9 million fewer gallons of water this year compared to last, according to Jackson.
June of this year was 10 degrees warmer than last, yet Jackson says Layton’s water use was ‘comparatively minimal.’
Based on an evapotranspiration formula – which contemplates several factors regarding water needs of plant life based on weather conditions like temperature – an anticipated increase in water use for June 2021 would have been 86.4 million gallons over the last year.
Instead, with residents being “judicious in their watering,” Layton officials say “great strides were made in conserving water.” Layton residents used 17.5 million more gallons of water in June 2021 than in June 2020.
City Manager Alex Jensen underscored Jackson’s comments by saying “While we are pleased with this information, it is still too early to celebrate. We would be wise to increase these efforts, as we are still looking at ending the irrigation season early. And we need to think about and begin preparing for next year.”
Jensen refers to the notice given by secondary water providers earlier which said irrigation water season would end sooner than the usual October 15.
Layton officials say any water that can be retained in the reservoirs as the new water year begins will assist in offsetting additional restrictions next summer.
Residents are encouraged to continue conserving water and to find ways to increase their efforts.