Lehi residents prepare for implementation of water restrictions

Posted at 10:26 PM, May 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-17 00:26:12-04

LEHI, Utah -- There's a major water shortage in Utah and one city is making sure its water doesn't run dry this year.

Lehi's City Council passed a water shortage management plan in March. In just a couple of weeks, residents will have to cut back drastically on watering their lawns.

"When you look at Utah, most of the state is in drought conditions to some extent," said Brian McInerney, a hydrologist for the National Weather Service in Salt Lake City.

The low water level in the state is thanks to a small snowpack high above in the mountains, and while places like Park City will get plenty of this resource, cities like Lehi fall behind.

"I'm just kind of surprised they are already putting in restrictions so early this year but I think they're just doing it in advance to make sure we don't run out," Lehi Resident Ashley Snyder said.

Homeowners will be asked to cut back on watering their lawns beginning in June.

"I think it's smart," said Guy Sorenson, who doesn't mind the restrictions. "Water is a commodity. We need it. I think they should put a restriction on it. People should stand by it."

Some residents, like Joshua Peterson, hardly even use the sprinklers. "About once every two weeks."

"Areas off of Salt Lake City we anticipate they are going to be about 50 percent of normal," McInerney said.

The hydrologist said the lower the elevation, the worse the water restrictions will get, like in Lehi where the city's irrigation level is between 50 and 74 percent of capacity, and if you're not a farmer McInerney says, "I think your average person who lives in a home in Utah will see water coming out of their taps."

That's plenty enough for Joshua who lets his lawn do what it wants.

"I just let nature take its course,” he said.

Lehi Residents will be prohibited from using their sprinklers or watering their lawns from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., and watering will be limited to three days a week depending on the street address.