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Two years ago, city officials spent $300,000 developing the Sister Spring, the Big Spring and four other springs in Manti Canyon.

And that development has paid off in big dividends in this drought-burdened water year that ends Sept. 30, according to city manager Bill Mickelson.While other Sanpete Valley towns have been forced to apply harsh water rationing programs, Manti has been able to avoid rationing and had only two brief shutdowns while the holding reservoir was replenished, Mickelson said.

The spring developments increased the delivery into the collection box by around 25 percent, according to Mickelson. And that increase has enabled residents to maintain fruitful gardens and green lawns in a severely dry year.

An added benefit has been the increased production of power by the city's hydroelectric system due to the larger and more constant stream flow, Mickelson told the City Council.

He said extensive work that includes shoring up the dam and clearing feeder channels is now underway at Jet's Reservoir beside the Skyline Drive at the summit of Manti Canyon.

"Drought seems to be a constant that we must be prepared to cope with to the best of our ability," he told the city administrators.