ST. GEORGE — With the arrival of fall, state water managers have a message for Utahns – stop watering your lawns.
Officials with the Utah Division of Water Resources released a statement Friday asking state residents – with the exception of Washington County – to cease outdoor watering for the remainder of the year.
“If you don’t live in Washington County where the irrigation season is longer, it is time to turn off that timer until next year,” Eric Millis, the division’s director, said. “We are in the middle of a significant drought, and recent rainfall took care of all the moisture property owners need for the rest of the year,”
Rains from what was left of Hurricane Rosa fell on parts of Utah over the last week.
“What people need to do is really simple: turn your timer to the off position immediately,” said Joshua Palmer, the agency’s water efficiency, education and engagement section manager. “Sixteen of the state’s reservoirs are less than 20 percent full, meaning if we don’t have a good winter we will be wishing we had conserved more this year.”
Washington County residents have been asked by the Washington County Water Conservancy District to follow the county’s fall watering schedule, which limits watering to twice a week. The fall schedule began Sept. 1 and runs through Oct. 31.
The water district recommends running sprinklers in three cycles about an hour apart. This allows the soil to absorb water slowly and deeply and reduces the risk of runoff or water waste. Hand water dry spots.
As for the state of the five reservoirs the water district manages, as of Tuesday, Quail Creek is at 55 percent, Sand Hollow is 76 percent, Gunlock is at 40 percent, Ivins is at 25 percent and Kolob is at 0.5 percent.
Kolob is being drained in order to wipe out traces of three illegally introduced fish species to the reservoir that pose a threat to protected Virgin River fish.
“The primary function of the reservoirs is to supply culinary and secondary water for Washington County’s residents, but they offer countless recreational, environmental, financial and social benefits as well,” water district officials posted on Facebook Monday.
For more information on the reservoirs, visit the water district’s website.
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