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Water Use Restrictions Planned in Weber Basin

Water Use Restrictions Planned in Weber Basin

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OGDEN, Utah (AP) -- Water-use restrictions are planned in the Weber Basin again this year.

While reservoir storage is no worse than it was at this time a year ago, there is less snow for the spring runoff and less of that is actually making it into streams, rather than soaking into the ground.

Only one small reservoir in the Weber system, at Smith & Morehouse, will fill. Total storage in Weber Basin reservoirs is not expected to get higher than 55 percent, said Tage Flint, director of the Weber Basin Water conservancy District, which supplies water to more than 30 cities and hundreds of agricultural users in the Top of Utah.

The water restrictions mean 20 percent less water for agricultural users and lawn-watering restrictions, such as no watering between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

"I think we're going to redouble our efforts at enforcement," Flint said.

In addition, secondary water for homes will be started later this year -- May 1, for most locations -- and finished earlier -- Sept. 31. Flint said homeowners could help by letting lawns get a bit brown before watering.

As of Monday morning, the snowpack water was 65 percent of normal.

"It's particularly depressing when you see it was at 81 percent this time last year," Flint said.

Randy Julander, snow survey supervisor for Utah, said the Weber drainage basin is the second worst in the state in projected stream flows, with maximum flows of 30 percent to 55 percent of average.

"That is not good at all, but it could be worse," he said.

"At Enterprise (in southern Utah) they have zero runoff, zero storage and zero snowpack."

He said ranchers and farmers there will pump what they can or just not plant.

"In the Santa Clara area, they expect to have two water turns," he said, meaning just two deliveries of irrigation water.

"They'll be done by mid-June."

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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