Mayor Biskupski addressing potential water shortage

Mayor Jackie Biskupski
Photo: Gephardt Daily

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah, April 11, 2018 (Gephardt Daily) — Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has declared a Stage 1 Advisory for water conservation as a result of snow levels and early spring runoff being well below average this year, officials announced.

The decision is in keeping with Salt Lake City’s 5-stage Water Shortage Contingency Plan, the Mayor’s Office said in a news release.

“While the current overall water supply is good due to strong reservoir levels, stream flow volume is projected to be well below average in all Wasatch Mountain streams that support Salt Lake City’s water service area,” the statement said.

“The low stream flow volumes are prompting the Stage 1 Advisory.”

The Water Shortage Contingency Plan outlines five water shortage stages triggered by water supply levels, stream flows, and water demand. It also provides recommendations for actions within each stage aimed at reducing water demand to levels that reflect current supply and future water needs.

The Mayor will act upon the recommendation of Salt Lake City public utilities director Laura Briefer, who noted Stage 1 is voluntary and a public education measure. Public Utilities officials also briefed the Salt Lake City Council on the status of water supplies and the contingency plan Tuesday night at their regular meeting.

“At Stage 1, our goal is to send a message that everyone can help us avoid potential shortages this season and in future drought years by simply being mindful about their water use,” Briefer said. “We are asking residents, businesses, and city departments to implement simple and cost-effective measures to conserve water.”

City departments and divisions are stepping up to cut back on outdoor watering and to test equipment for maximum watering efficiency as temperatures rise.

By order of city fire marshall Ryan Mellor, firefighters this spring and summer will be conducting “dry” fire hydrant inspections only to assess proper working order, said fire department public information officer Audra Sorensen.

“Rather than opening up hydrants in this low-water year, we will inspect and lubricate hydrant caps, inspect their paint and check to make sure hydrants have proper clearance,” she said.

The City’s Department of Public Services will “actively monitor water use in managed parks and facilities,” said Corey Rushton, communications and administrative services director.

“We want to encourage residents to report broken irrigation systems in city parks and grounds via the SLC Mobile app.”

In addition, Public Utilities is working with city golf course staffs and Utah State University to develop greater water efficiency plans.

The city is also asking residents to take a few simple actions to help with water conservation:

  • Sign up for a free water check to determine efficient watering levels here
  • Adjust sprinkler controllers to reflect the season and weather, including shutting off during rainstorms
  • Check sprinkler systems for broken or misaligned spray heads
  • Check indoor faucets and fixtures for leaks and repair promptly
  • Take advantage of the City’s water-saving tips and landscape information here

More information on the city’s Water Shortage Contingency Plan can be found here.


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