SALT LAKE CITY — Salt Lake City Mayor Erin Mendenhall announced Tuesday that the city will skip the "advisory" stage of the Water Shortage Contingency Plan and will start the "peak demand season" under Stage 2.
Part of Stage 2 includes asking Salt Lake City residents to voluntarily reduce water use by 5 percent. It also will require city-owned properties, including public golf courses and parks, to make adjustments to lawn watering times and frequency.
Mendenhall's announcement said the city ended the summer of 2021 at Stage 2, and it will stay there due to "Less than average winter snowpack and persistent drought conditions."
“Last year our customers really took the water shortage situation to heart. They conserved enough water equivalent to filling Mountain Dell Reservoir more than twice – more than 2 billion gallons. We hope to have similar support this year. Everyone can have an impact on water savings,” said Laura Briefer, the director of the Department of Salt Lake City Public Utilities.
The city's "Water Shortage Contingency Plan" includes these five stages, defined by the Department of Public Utilities:
- STAGE 1—ADVISORY Stage: the public is informed as early as meaningful data are available that a possible shortage may occur.
- STAGE 2—MILD Stage: this stage is initiated if supply conditions worsen and relies on voluntary cooperation and support of water customers to meet target consumption goals. During this stage, specific voluntary actions are suggested for all customers, and specific mandatory actions are identified for municipal customers, including parks, golf courses, schools, and other government facilities.
- STAGE 3—MODERATE Stage: this stage is to be initiated if the Mild Stage does not result in the reduction needed, or circumstances warrant its initiation as specified in Section V: Initiation. This stage increases the prohibition or limitation of certain actions and relies on both voluntary and mandatory actions.
- STAGE 4—SEVERE Stage: this stage is to be initiated if the Moderate Stage does not result in the reduction needed, or circumstances warrant its initiation as specified in Section V: Initiation. The Severe Stage has increasingly stringent prohibitions and limits on certain actions, including certain mandatory actions for residential and commercial customers.
- STAGE 5—CRITICAL Stage: this stage addresses the most critical need for demand reduction and increases the number of restricted water uses and mandatory actions. This could be used as a stage of a progressive situation, such as a drought of increasing severity, or to address an immediate crisis, such as a facility failure.
The full contingency plan can be viewed here.