OGDEN - City officials are asking residents to drastically cut down their water usage now to avoid more serious problems next year.
In accordance with its Water Shortage Management Plan, Ogden City is moving to a Phase II condition, indicative of a moderate water shortage. Phase II requests voluntary reductions of water usage in different phases of customer consumption. These reductions include watering lawns less frequently, ensuring sprinklers do not spray on hard surfaces and limiting the operation of outdoor water features.
"The easiest way to reduce the amount of water used on your lawn or landscaping is simply to reduce the number of minutes you are currently watering by 20 percent," a city press release stated. "For example, if you currently water for 25 minutes at a time, by reducing your watering by 5 minutes you will be using 20% less water. As each user makes minor adjustments, the collective reduction in use will make a significant difference."
Watering will continue to be limited to between 6 p.m. and 10 a.m. the next day. The city is also requesting that all users voluntarily further reduce or cease irrigation water use on Oct. 1. Officials said this conservation effort will help lower the strain on supplies this year and will also help reservoir levels recover over the winter. The City is acting in concert with other local water providers to ensure we have a reliable water supply going forward.
"We're not out of water, we just need to be prepared," City Engineer Justin Anderson said.
The only mandatory requirements for reduction are for city buildings and property.
A water shortage is measured in a variety of ways. The USDA drought monitor is widely used by local water wholesalers. Reservoir levels are obviously a large factor in determining water conditions. Reservoir levels are an important factor in the Surface Water Supply Index. All of these and other factors are considered when determining the level of a water shortage, the release stated.
The city will continue to monitor the water situation.
In the event that the shortage does not improve, further steps in the WSMP may be taken.
Residents with questions can contact the Ogden City Water Utility at 801-629-8321. Or go to the city's Website at OgdenCity.com.