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Richard Piatt reportingA looming drought has removed doubt about the need for a comprehensive plan to conserve water in Salt Lake County.
Cities and towns in Salt Lake County are coming together on water conservation.
Today, most of them agreed to be part of a unified voice to encourage people to watch their watering this summer.
The goal is to save water this summer. But first, a proclamation, to keep that goal from drowning in politics.
It's starting to bug a lot of people: Excessive watering by both homeowners and businesses.
Sandy resident Mark Woodard is even calling people on it---pointing out overuse when he sees it.
Mark Woodard/Sandy Resident "IT COMES A TIME WHEN IT'S A MORAL ISSUE, ISN'T IT. JUST BECAUSE YOU COULD AFFORD IT DOESN'T MEAN OTHER PEOPLE SHOULD GO WITHOUT BECAUSE OTHER PEOPLE HAVE WASTED IT."
Officials in most Salt Lake County cities and towns agree--at least enough to sign a water conservation proclamation. The document, mostly a goodwill letter to eliminate waste and encourage savings, marks the first time cities have come together to save water.
Bryan Holladay/West Jordan Mayor "IT'S LIKE AN OLD SCOUTING PRINCIPAL, MOST OF US CAN CONSERVE MORE THAN WE ARE CONSERVING, SO WHY NOT DO THAT?"
The cities all agree to take steps to eliminate water waste in similar ways county wide. They also pledge to review their own policies on landscaping and water efficiency, including taking part in programs like the 'Slow the Flow' campaign.
They also plan to push half-inch watering intervals, which amounts to 20 minutes for an average sprinkler every four days in May, every three days in the heat of the summer.
Each city will decide on its own whether their guidelines will be voluntary or mandatory--and on how to compare water use.
The guidelines are a starting point--mostly acknowledging that most water waste comes from summer sprinklers.
Stephanie Duer/Water Conservation Coordinator "IT'S ONLY GOING TO BE SUCCESSFUL IF TWO THINGS HAPPEN: IF WE INVOLVE THE PUBLIC, AND IF WE'RE PREPARED TO ENFORCE IT. AND ENFORCEMENT IS EXPENSIVE."
The guidelines are available for public viewing.