The timetable for shutting off the irrigation water tap – a topic of discussion all summer – is becoming clearer.
At least, representatives from the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, which provides secondary water to parts of northern Utah, have announced that secondary water supplies to its customers will be cut on September 20. Many water companies serve northern Utah and Weber County. , Weber Basin serves parts of South Ogden, South Ogden and Washington Terrace, among others.
September 20 is earlier than the norm, usually around October 15, and the advanced schedule stems from the drought and dwindling water supplies. By shutting off irrigation water earlier, Weber Basin officials aim to “ensure an adequate supply of potable water for next year,” said John Parry, deputy general manager of the water supplier. Secondary water is generally used on agricultural land and for watering lawns.
Rodney Banks, general manager of the Roy Conservancy District, which supplies secondary water for most of Roy and parts of Hooper and West Haven, said that entity had not yet set a firm shutdown date. But he suspects it will be September, maybe early September, also before the usual date, mid-October. “It really depends on how much water our users are using,” he said.
A dry winter limited the snowpack in the mountains along the Wasatch Front, significantly reducing the amount of water that recharges the Pineview Reservoir and other water resources. This has led to calls from Weber Basin, other water officials and elected leaders for the public to reduce watering on lawns in order to conserve scarce supplies. The area’s yellowed lawns are a testament to the efforts some homeowners have made to reduce their water consumption.
An August 2 letter from Weber Basin to some of its customers highlights the dire situation and the potential threat to the drinking water supply, not just the water used to keep the grass green.
“The district tries to provide water as late as possible in the season to ensure that farmers have an adequate supply for their crops, as we understand that in many cases their livelihood depends on it. . We also understand that this early shutdown will not be popular with some, but the conclusion is that it is in the best interest of the 700,000 residents of the district to preserve a supply of drinking water for the next year, ”it reads. in the letter.
The decision to cut off the water supply earlier seems, at least in part, to be a precautionary measure.
“Obviously, we hope for a better water supply next year, but we are obliged to provide a [worst]-Case scenario, which includes next year’s water year that looks a lot like the one we’re living in, ”the letter from Weber Basin reads. He went on to say that only “next year’s water supply” will remain in its main reservoirs before winter, further noting, without naming names, that other irrigation water providers will shut down. water supply before September 20.
Officials at Pineview Water Systems, another secondary water supplier in northern Utah, said the secondary water could be shut off early. But a representative for the company did not immediately return a call Wednesday asking for comment on the entity’s plans.
Bob Dandoy, the mayor of Roy, said he suspected some members of the public were complaining if the secondary water was shut off early. Homeowners pay for the secondary water supply in their property taxes and he suspects some will feel aggrieved if the supply is cut off before mid-October. “They will ask the question, will there be some kind of refund?” said Dandoy.
Parry said Weber Basin officials decided on the September 20 closing date at a July 29 meeting. Public reaction, he suspects, “is going to be mixed. It was not a decision that was taken lightly, ”he said.