Hot, dry weather lingering in the Salt Lake area has municipal water districts beating a path to the county's largest water wholesaler with requests for additional supplies.
Thursday, the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District board approved a new contract with South Jordan to increase that city's contract for water purchases from 2,100 acre-feet per year to 3,450.Murray, which has been an inactive customer since 1979, also approached the district two weeks ago with an emergency and was receiving county water several hours later, said Robert B. Hilbert, the district's general manager. Murray officials are now determining the quantity of water they want to buy from the district, he said.
Sandy has a contract to buy 5,000 acre-feet of water each year and had already taken 4,754 acre-feet by the end of June.
The district's water sales during June were 12 percent higher than in the same month in 1987, with several wholesale customers buying 26 to 40 percent more water, according to a district monthly report. Hilbert said new connections accounted for 3 to 4 percent of the increase; current weather conditions are responsible for the rest.
The interest in increasing water contracts comes at a time when some of the district's water supplies are being cut back and when four of the district's 20 wells are out of service because the water table has dropped dramatically, said Mel Johnson, district field coordinator.
The Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City usually sells surplus water to the district - 50 cubic feet per second from one treatment plant and 30 cubic feet per second from another. But Salt Lake City has needed more of its water, so the deliveries to the county have been cut to 14 and 15 CFS from the two respective treatment plants.
The Metropolitan Water District would have taken all of the water from one of the treatment plants, but it would have left an area near 13th East and 94th South entirely without water, Johnson said.
Of the county district's 20 wells, four have been shut down because of a 20-to-90-foot drop in the water table since the beginning of the warm weather season, Johnson said.