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Davis School District to cut summer water use in half

Posted at 8:41 AM, Jun 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-15 13:28:15-04

FARMINGTON, Utah — Schools in the Davis School District may look a little unkempt this summer, but it's for a very good reason.

The district announced Wednesday that it plans on cutting outdoor water use by half at many of its facilities this summer to help drought measures.

A district spokesperson said the water cuts will occur at nearly 100 properties.

“People are going to see our grass is going to look pretty tall. We are not going to cut any lower than four inches. The taller the grass is, the healthier it is going to look, and the healthier it will try to keep it and it is going to shade the root system and we shouldn’t lose so much water to evaporation," said Jeff Olsen, Outdoor Division Coordinator with the Davis School District.

In the midst of historic drought conditions, nearly all of Utah is either listed in the "severe" or "extreme" categories. Last week, a large portion of south-central Utah entered into the "exceptional drought" category, the worst on the official scale.

The Davis School District will water lawn sections only once per week, and install drought-tolerant lawns and landscaping at many school properties.

According to the district, water use was successfully cut by 60% at Farmington High School last year, giving officials the confidence to take further steps in 2022 across more properties. In addition, some of the district's recreational fields may be restricted to community use if grass becomes too stressed over the summer.

While residents may see school fields and lawns look a little overgrown in the next few months, officials want to assure the community that it's all part of an effort to help the state defeat the current drought.

“There might be some areas that look like they’re not being maintained at all but that is the design of the field," said Olsen. "It is a grass that only has to be mowed once a year and maybe only needs water once every month or every three weeks.”