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Ogden plans water alerts

Published: Saturday, May 2 2009 12:00 a.m. MDT

OGDEN — After two years of research, the Ogden City Council has established a plan for dealing with potential water shortages in the city.

The management plan prescribes measures the city can take depending on water conditions.

A color-coded alert level for water conditions will be available on the City Council Web site, www.ogdencity.com. If notifications are needed, messages may be sent home with students, posted in public places or delivered by local media in the form of public service announcements.

Normal water conditions are represented with green.

A moderate water shortage, characterized by river and reservoir levels below 30 percent of normal, is represented by yellow.

A severe water shortage, meaning river and reservoir levels are below 50 percent of normal, is represented by orange.

An extreme shortage, represented with red, means extraordinary drought, water system failure or water supply contamination and would require a 30 percent reduction in city water usage.

Ogden's water department will monitor water availability and make recommendations based on the Surface Water Supply Index, which is measured by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. The SWSI measures snowpack, stream flow, precipitation and reservoir storage.

— Joseph M. Dougherty

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