Water managers in Davis and Weber counties are pleading with the public to obey watering restrictions.
Managers from eight irrigation companies have agreed to push a restriction on outside watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m. - their first united effort in decades.This summer's abysmal rain totals and high temperatures forced the cooperation.
"We're using a tremendous amount of water, our reservoirs are way down and going down fast," said Ivan Flint, manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District.
The district, through local irrigation companies, provides water for lawns and gardens to 40,000 residents in the two counties. Unless conservation improves, reservoir totals will dip below 50 percent capacity - a level managers are striving to hold over for coming years.
"If we're lucky with rain and people conserve better, we'll close out the year around that mark. We need that much for next year," Flint said.
The average level of the district's seven reservoirs is currently hovering around 60 percent.
Flint said Weber Basin imposes the 10-to-6 restriction every year, but some residents of different areas in the two counties aren't sure it applies to them. "This way, everybody knows."
The district and companies plan a get-tough approach, citing those who ignore the restriction and cutting service to repeat offenders.
Residents can thank good management and the heavy-precipitation winter of 1992-93 that restrictions haven't tightened this summer. Holdover in Weber Basin reservoirs following that winter neared 70 percent - remarkable considering the previous five winters did nothing to spin the state out of drought.
Supplies were so plentiful that managers feared a fast spring snowmelt would bring floods, prompting them to release millions of gallons daily from two reservoirs for a two-week period in April and May.
However, Flint warns, no one can expect one good winter to hedge against drought for more than one year. Only conservation and a wet winter will push a rebound from this summer.