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Mayors of Utah Valley: Learning about the city’s water allotment adjustments

By Jim Miller - Special to the Daily Herald | Jul 30, 2022

Isaac Hale, Daily Herald file photo

Lakeside Trail hugs the perimeter of Utah Lake on Tuesday, March 12, 2019, in Saratoga Springs. The trail is also part of the Utah Lake Shoreline Trail and the Provo/Jordan River Parkway.

Effective July 25, 2022, Saratoga Springs City reduced irrigation water allotments by 20%. Utah is in an extreme drought and Saratoga Springs is experiencing a reduction in some of the water sources used to provide irrigation water. The city is encouraging all irrigation system users that have not already done so, to decrease their irrigation water use by 20% to conserve water. Many of our residents recognized the state is in an extreme drought and already made efforts to conserve water. This is greatly appreciated and is making a difference in extending resources through the irrigation season. Keep up the good work!

Irrigation users need to reduce the amount of water used to maintain turfgrass, which is resilient, allowing it to stress and enter dormancy early. This will save water allotted to maintain trees, shrubs and gardens. The city developed an irrigation calculator on our website to help residents and other irrigation system users adjust their water use to the new allotment size and estimate their monthly irrigation bill.

In 2015, Saratoga Springs was one of the cities that led the way in water conservation in the state of Utah by metering the irrigation system for users in the community. Water in this system is charged using a tiered rate structure that will be adjusted as per our Water Shortage Response Plan to encourage residents and other system users to use less water. Irrigation system users that reduce water use by 20% to stay within their allotment are estimated to see a reduction in their water bill. Those that don’t reduce their usage will potentially see an increase as they enter higher tiers of water usage.

Through the month of July, the Parks Department gradually reduced water use in all non-high use areas by 40% while maintaining a normal watering schedule for areas used for recreation. It is important to maintain turf used for programming for the safety of participants and to maintain the health of the turf through damage sustained due to high use. Park strips with trees will be watered once every seven days, while park strips without trees will be watered once every 14 days. They are maintaining a three-day watering schedule for all other turf in the city, with a reduced runtime for non-high use areas to maintain the 40% reduction. They will maintain this reduction through the rest of the irrigation season.

The Parks Department will be focusing on tuning up and maintaining sprinkler systems to avoid water waste through over spray and broken sprinkler components. Due to the amount of turf and systems the city maintains, residents are often able to catch issues before we do. If a resident sees an issue they can contact us through the city app or by emailing us at comments@saratogaspringscity.com. Be sure to include the exact location and any photos of the issue. This assists our staff in fixing these issues in a timely manner.

Courtesy photo

Jim Miller

The city has provided resources on the city website to help residents reduce their water use and stay within the adjusted allotment.

  • There is an adjusted irrigation calculator with the new allotment size and rate. Residents can access the irrigation calculator by going to https://saratogaspringscity.com/irrigationcalculator.
  • In 2019, the city launched the My Water Use Customer Portal which allows residents to view hourly and historical use along with the ability to set up alerts for sudden increase in usage to help residents fix leaks and other water issues in a timely manner. Residents can set up an account and access the My Water Use Customer Portal by going to https://saratogaspringscity.com/mywateruse.
  • Beginning Aug. 11, residents must have an active My Water Use account with alerts set up to qualify for the Water Forgiveness program. Residents can find out more about the Water Forgiveness Program by going to https://saratogaspringscity.com/waterforgiveness.
  • Residents can find out more about the Water Shortage Response Plan by going to https://saratogaspringscity.com/drought.
  • To see what else the city is doing to reduce water use and for other links and tips on how property owners can reduce your water use go to https://saratogaspringscity.com/waterconservation.

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