OGDEN — Warning that its reservoir storage is being depleted “more rapidly than normal,” and with no rain in sight, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District issued water use restrictions Tuesday for all of its customers in Top of Utah.
The restrictions are voluntary. They ask people to avoid watering lawns and gardens between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., to fix leaks in pipes, reduce waste in sprinkler systems and to set lawn mowers so they leave grass at least 2 inches high.
Executive Director Tage Flint said the restrictions could also impact irrigation districts that buy water from Weber Basin.
Pineview Water Systems Director Terel Grimley said he is waiting for the latest water-use figures on his system to make a decision.
However, he said, “If Weber Basin has issued voluntary restrictions I will join them in that. We need to present a united front.”
He said water use in the Pineview system has been heavy this summer, but he was able to handle demand for farmers, sometimes by helping those who used their allotments rent water from others who hadn’t.
He said that, unless water demand makes it necessary to cut off service early, Pineview will continue to supply irrigation water to its customers until the usual Oct. 15 cutoff date.
The Roy Water Conservancy Sub District said Tuesday afternoon that, so far, it has not issued any restrictions. It gets its water from the Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company, which could not be reached Tuesday afternoon.
Flint said some customers of small irrigation companies that depend on river flow, not storage, may already be issuing mandatory restrictions or even shutting off flows for the year because they are out of water.
Those companies do not get water from Weber Basin.
In a news release issued late Tuesday, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District said the restrictions are to make sure enough water is left in the reservoirs to supply next year if this winter is as dry as last winter was.
“It is uncertain what type of precipitation we will receive this winter,” the release says. “Weber Basin has sufficient storage to sustain its customers throughout the remainder of the irrigation season.
“However, in preparation for next year, it is prudent that we begin reducing usage for outdoor irrigation and saving as much of our existing supplies as possible.”
Reservoir storage is normally enough to provide for two years of use and the district started this year with its reservoirs full.
Flint said last week that, with voluntary restrictions, the Weber Basin district hopes to end the water year Sept. 30 with reservoirs about 57 percent full.
He said the coming winter will have to be at least 100 percent of the 10-year average to ensure that the 2013 spring runoff is enough to fill the reservoirs again.