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Watering restrictions in place in some Utah communities

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Posted at 9:54 PM, Apr 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-04-25 23:54:10-04

SALT LAKE CITY -- It seems too early to be thinking about water conservation with it still being April, but water experts said it's never too late to start conserving.

Some cities have already approved water conservation programs.

During this week's American Fork City Council meeting, the council approved a water conservation program that goes into effect on May 1. At the Weber Basin Water Conservancy in Davis County, they already have restrictions in place.

From population growth, lower than normal snow and rain total, and the desert climate, Utah's increasing water shortage is only getting worse.

Water Conservation Engineer Eric Jones said, "As our population increases our supply is not increasing, so we have to make sure that everyone and everything gets enough water with the supply that we have."

To help with the conservation effort, the Division of Water Resources puts out a weekly lawn watering guide, and so far, all but two counties in Utah do not need irrigation.

"A lot of people that have automatic sprinklers, they'll set them in April and they'll forget about them," Jones said. "They'll set them as if it's July and they'll come on every other day and applying way too much water on their lawn and flowers than what they need to."

For residents in Davis County, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy already has restrictions in place, like no watering between the hours of 10:00 a.m. and 6:00p.m.

For people who violate this three strike policy, Mark Anderson says, "We will be issuing notices to people that are using water wastefully and encouraging them to stop those practices and the after three strikes we will shut them off if they don't comply."

Experts like Jones said it is possible to keep lawns vibrant and hydrated without being wasteful. He said efficiency is key.

"During the day you don't water, and make sure that your sprinklers are hitting vegetation and not sidewalk, streets, things that don't grow," he said.

For American Fork Residents, beginning May 1, people with odd numbered addresses will water Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Even numbered addresses can water Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturday. No watering is allowed between 10:00 a.m. and 6:00 p.m. First offense is a written warning. Second offense will see irrigation water shut off and a $100 fine to have water turned back on. The third offense will see water shut off and a $300 fine.

The Governor says that by the year 2025, Utahns need to conserve 25 percent of what we're using, which experts say can be achieved by just watering our lawns more efficiently.