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Utahns heed call to conserve water but water bosses say it's important to conserve more

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Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District has the biggest water treatment plant in Utah, which provides drinking water to nearly 800,000 people in Salt Lake County. (Photo: KUTV)

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District has the biggest water treatment plant in Utah, which provides drinking water to nearly 800,000 people in Salt Lake County.

General Manager Bart Forsyth, who has been in the water business for 38 years, said Utahns are heeding the governor’s call to conserve water during this exceptional drought, but it’s no time to stop.

“We are basically living on water that was stored in previous years,” he said.

He said his water customers, on average, use 200 gallons of water per day, per person. Since the call for conservation began this year, usage has gone down to about 180 gallons per day/per person.

Since April 15, there have been 375,000 fewer irrigation cycles this year.

That’s a good effort he said, but given that nobody knows how long the drought and the hottest time of year (normally) is still to come, he wants his customers to conserve more and think long-term.

“If we continue with these hot dry conditions which would be unprecedented , then it’s possible next year we could see more mandates with respect to water restrictions,” he said.

Forsyth said Jordan Valley plans for droughts, but having extreme drought two years in a row, is not something that is extremely unusual.

Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District offers several services that will help you conserve water including analysis of the efficiency of your sprinklers and water wise garden and lawn design. Rebates are also avaiable. For more information go here:

Jordan Valley relies heavily on water from the Provo River. Other water providers like Lehi City also rely on rivers and streams and reservoirs like Deer Creek and Jordanelle which are well below capacity.

At Lehi Water Department, the city’s irrigation water reservoirs are at 70 percent of normal. That’s why they’ve asked residents to cut back on lawn irrigation to two days per week.

Cameron Boyle, Assistant City Administrator, said residents are heeding the call to conserve But others in Lehi are not .

The state allows people to report water wasters at https://water.utah.gov

Most of the water wasters reported to Lehi City are HOAs and businesses.

“Probably because they are the ones that set their clocks and walk away; That’s why we are asking them to set their clocks and only water twice a week,” Boyle said.

Lehi’s drinking water and irrigation water run on two separate systems and it is illegal to use the tap attached to your house, to water your lawn.

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