CLEARFIELD -- As a city in the second-highest water-using state in the nation, Clearfield is making efforts to bring water conservation to the forefront.
New guidelines require all new construction and remodeling projects to install 1.5-gallon flush toilets and low-flow faucets.
The cost to replace the old 5-gallon toilets with a low-flow one is about $75, but it is expected to save a homeowner more than $20 per year, depending on consumption.
If 25 percent of residential homes participated, it would mean 100 acre-feet in water reduction each year.
This change is one of several outlined in the new water conservation plan.
Clearfield first approved a water conservation plan as required by the Utah Water Conservation Act in 2001. The city is required to review and update its plan every five years.
Recently, the city council unanimously approved the new water conservation plan, which contains a basic summary of the current water system that serves Clearfield and makes recommendations on water conservation for the community.
Clearfield, which encompasses eight square miles, has 6,515 water connections. Of those, 5,701 are residential, 566 are commercial and 248 are industrial.
The city has about 100 acres of park space, which will remain the same during the next 10 years, and 73 acres of schools, which contributes many playgrounds and fields with grass.
Very little undeveloped farmland is left.
About 88 percent of the water for the city is received from the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.
In 2010, the city purchased 7,142.28 acre-feet of water from the district. The remaining 10 percent of its water supply came from city wells, making the overall consumption 7,854.73 acre-feet of water.
Clearfield mainly uses its underground aquifers during the peak summer months to prevent an unnecessary decrease in the level of groundwater. The district also charges less when the city uses a constant amount each month.
The city's plan states that groundwater is a precious resource that needs to be carefully managed. This management means using mostly water from the district and using the wells only during the peak summer months and emergencies.
The plan notes the city has sufficient water rights to meet the city's needs, although the ability to produce more water from its wells is constrained by the properties of the groundwater.
Clearfield is not expecting to need any additional acre-feet of water to meet the residential demand for indoor use or outdoor irrigation because it does not expect any significant increase in the number of residential lots.