If late-winter storms fail to deliver some major snowfall, outdoor water users in Davis and Weber counties can expect some major water restrictions.
The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District announced Wednesday that, barring some unforeseen weather miracle, it will cut water allotments to irrigation companies in half."We've got to cut 50 percent. There's just no way around it. That's all the water there is," said Ivan Flint, district manager. "We've hated to come out and tell this gloomy picture, but we've held off as long as we could."
Flint outlined proposed water rationing measures to a standing-room-only crowd of farmers and city officials from each of the communities served by the 18 irrigation companies that receives water from the district.
Noting that this is the fifth straight year of below-normal precipitation, Flint said reservoirs were only at 28 percent of capacity last fall and have not received any significant increase from this winter's storms despite a massive cloud-seeding effort, which he said will continue into the spring.
Under the proposed rationing plan, "secondary water" users and farmers with fewer than 10 acres would be allowed to water only twice a week. Most residential areas in Davis and Weber counties have two water systems: a culinary system for drinking water and a "secondary" system for watering lawns and gardens.
Which two days residents get to water depends on where they live. For water users who don't comply with the restrictions, their service will be disconnected for the rest of the year, and they will be charged a $50 reconnection fee next year.
Farmers with more than 10 acres will be allowed to water only 48 hours this year.
Normally, irrigation and secondary water systems are turned on by April 15, but that date may be moved to May 1 to conserve additional water.
The proposed restrictions do not apply to culinary water. "Those contracts have priority. We will supply 100 percent allotments to those cities we have culinary contracts with."
However, Flint said, he hopes the cities will encourage conservation among their culinary users. "We don't want the cities to come in and buy more culinary water from us."
The only "bright spot" in the water picture, he said, is that there will be no price increases this year. "This is the third year we have held the line on increases."
When you could water
Under the proposed water-rationing plan, users of secondary water in Davis and Weber counties would be restricted to watering three hours per day twice a week:
- If you live between North Salt Lake and 650 North in Kaysville, you could water only on Mondays and Thursdays.
- If you live between 650 North in Kaysville and the Weber River, you could water only on Tuesdays and Fridays.
- If you live between the Weber River and 40th Street in Ogden, you could water only on Wednesdays and Saturdays.
- No watering would be allowed on Sundays.
Failure to comply would result in disconnection and a $50 reconnection fee next year.