ST. GEORGE – In the midst of another drought year, the St. George City Council approved mandatory outdoor culinary water restrictions for the coming summer season, effective immediately.
“Reservoirs are lower this year,” Conservation Coordinator René Fleming said during the City Council meeting Thursday. She asked the City Council to implement mandatory restrictions that prohibit outdoor watering between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
Water used during the day, particularly as temperature rise, will simply evaporate and be wasted, City Manager Gary Esplin said.
“With the (limited) precipitation we’ve received in Southern Utah, it makes sense not to water in the middle of the day,” Esplin said.
“This council also feels this is important,” Mayor Jon Pike said.
According to information released by the Washington County Water Conservancy District last month, the county had a snow pack of 47 percent from the 2013-14 winter season. Due to another year of low snow pack levels, the water flow in regional rivers – the same that feed area reservoirs – is also expected to be low.
Water flow on parts of the Virgin River has been reported to be between 36-17 percent between Virgin and Littlefield, Arizona. The Santa Clara River has been measured at 21 percent. Overall reservoir storage in Southwest Utah is pegged at 40 percent by the WCWCD.
If a resident is found watering the lawn during the restricted hours, that person will not be fined, Fleming said, but instead will be educated concerning ways in which to best conserve and use water. While some people have been repeatedly warned about violations in the past, there really haven’t been any major enforcement issues, she said.
“Most people get it pretty quickly,” Fleming said. As well, she said she would rather educate the members of the public than penalize them.
As mentioned above, the restriction applies to culinary water, or treated, drinking-quality water. It does not apply to irrigation and re-use water, which Fleming called “raw and untreated,” that is: water used for areas like golf courses, cemeteries, city parks, the grounds of Dixie State University, and so forth. The local irrigation system also lacks the storage and production capabilities of the residential system, forcing these facilities to water whenever possible and often during the middle of the day.
“When the city enacts water restrictions, they only apply to users who irrigate with drinking water,” Fleming previously told St. George News.
The City Council voted unanimously to pass the outdoor water restrictions. Fleming said the restrictions tend to stay in effect till around Oct. 1.
The St. George Exchange Club was honored with a mayoral proclamation naming May 11 St. George Exchange Club Day. May 11 marked the St. George Exchange Club’s 40th birthday.
The City Council approved a bid for $981,714.95 to Interstate Rock Products to construct the Mall Drive Bridge Access Road. The Mall Drive Bridge project is slated for completion in the fall.
Fireworks West International was approved to handle the city’s July 4 fireworks programs for $40,000. The city will again partner with Canyon Media for the fireworks show.
- Low snowpack, dry conditions possibly extending ‘significant drought’ – March 2014
- St. George implements drought management water restrictions – June 2013
- Residents complain of municipal water waste, city responds
- St. George Exchange Club, raising leaders with spirit to serve
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