Emergency Water Conservation Plan



Passed by resolution #14128 on May 8, 2014

      The goal of our emergency water conservation plan is to adequately manage water shortages.  The objective of this document is to provide useful information that will allow water managers and users alike to make logical and meaningful decisions in the event of a reduction in available culinary water.  The following topics address various actions that might be necessary in the event of less than normal water availability.  We have tried to organize contingency measures that may be implemented by priority.

      In the event that Ashley Spring does not produce a sufficient amount of water to allow for routine watering, water will be pumped from Red Fleet Reservoir to the Central Utah Water Treatment Plant and then released into our system. Some of that water will be pumped up to the Chocolate Rock storage tank for release into our higher elevation zone. Additionally, we will pump from our Painted Hills well. By combination of Ashley Spring, Red Fleet and Painted Hills Well our goal will be to provide sufficient quantities of water for routine watering, no restrictions.

     NOTE: Customer rates will be increased to cover pumping costs as long as pumping is required to meet water demand. Current estimate of average pumping cost is $1.00 per thousand gallons of water pumped. Water quality will not be degraded and is perfectly safe for human consumption/use. However, the water pumped may have a different odor and /or taste.

Level I – Normal Years (General conservation)

  • No restrictions.
  • Eliminate water on district property from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM and encourage users to avoid outside watering during the daytime.
  • Encourage all water users to conserve wherever possible throughout their daily routine.

Level II – Moderate Drought Conditions

  • Inform the public of water supply shortages.
  • Restrict watering of district owned properties to once per week.
  • Restrict outside watering during daylight hours, and reduce watering to not more often than twice weekly.
  • Enforce outside watering restrictions including watering times and quantities.

Level III – Drought Conditions

  • Eliminate watering of all district property.
  • Initiate mandatory public conservation measures.
  1. Alert the public of mandatory restrictions. See Customer Notification
  2. No outside watering. (Customers watering outside will need to show proof of wells or secondary irrigation sources).
  3. Limit monthly use to no more than 10,000 gallons.
  4. Implement significant charges for use over 10,000 gallons.
  • Flat rate/fee of $5.00 per thousand gallons metered for water used over 10,000 gallons.

Level IV – Severe Drought Conditions

  •  Strictly enforce all conservation policies with significant penalty for non-compliance.
  1. Use over 10,000 gallons prohibited.
  2. First time violators warned.
  3. Second time violators shut off.
  • Physically restrict water supplies (in order of priority).
  1. All outside irrigation systems.
  2. All non-essential facilities.
  3. Commercial businesses, restricting largest users first.
  4. Residential areas.
  • Shut down zones within the system from 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM.
  • Number of zones shut down at one time is dependent on availability of water.

CUSTOMER NOTIFICATION:  The process of notifying customers will be conducted as quickly as the contact resources available allow. Our goal will be to make contact with customers in a timely fashion and allow them to make necessary preparation/adjustments in their daily routine. Any or all of these methods may be employed:

  • Local radio public service announcements.
  • Published notification in the Vernal Express newspaper.
  • Mailed notices to customers.


Note:   Even without water shortages, a significant water savings can be achieved throughout the year by changing a few habits.  Perhaps a good place to start is to think about how you could save water each time you open a tap.  The possibilities are almost unlimited.  If your morning starts with a shower, how much water runs down the drain while you’re waiting for it to get warm?  Brushing your teeth, shaving etc. how much water runs down the drain if you leave the water on while performing these functions?  Is it possible to capture some of this water for other uses, perhaps watering plants, rinsing dishes, watering animals, so on and so on?

Indoor water use:

  • It is estimated that about two-thirds of the total water used in a household is used in the bathroom, accordingly we should concentrate on reducing bathroom water use first.
  • Do not use your toilet as a wastebasket.  Put tissues, wrappers, diapers, cigarette butts, etc. in the trashcan.  Flushing items, such as these; requires more water to adequately do the job of keeping the sewer system clean and operational.
  • Check the toilet for leaks.  Put a few drops of food coloring in the tank, if the bowl water becomes colored without flushing, there is a leak.  The level of water in the bowl is maintained by the amount of water the “goose neck” retains between flushes consequently, as water is leaked from the tank into the bowl, it automatically drains without being noticed.
  • Is the water level in the tank too high?  Adjust or have it adjusted to the proper fill line.
  • If you do not have a low volume flush toilet, put a sealed plastic bottle full of sand and water in the tank to reduce the amount of water used per flush.  However, be careful not to over conserve to the point of having to flush twice to make the toilet work.  Also be sure the container(s) used to reduce tank water volume do not interfere with the flushing mechanism.
  • Take short showers with the water volume adjusted only high as necessary.  Further savings can be realized by turning the water off while soaping up or shampooing and then back on to rinse off (Navy shower).  Install low flow showerheads and/or other flow restriction devices.
  • Do not let the water run while shaving or brushing your teeth.  Fill the sink for shaving or a glass for brushing.
  • When doing laundry, make sure you always wash with a full load, adjust the water level appropriately if your machine will do that.  Many machines use 40 gallons or more for each load, whether it is two socks or a week’s worth of clothes.
  • Repair any leaks within the household.  Even a minor slow drip can waste 15 to 20 gallons of water per day.
  • Know where your main shutoff valve is and make sure that it works.  Shutting the water off yourself when a pipe breaks or a leak occurs will not only save water, but also eliminate or minimize damage to your personal property.
  • Keep a container of water in the refrigerator for a cold drink instead of running water from the tap until it gets cold. Letting it run until cold equates to running several glasses down the drain for one cold drink.  A good place to fill this container is from the sink or the shower while you’re running water to get warm/hot for shaving or showering.
  •  Plug the sink when rinsing vegetables, dishes, or anything else use only the water in the sink for rinsing instead of continually running water down the drain.

Outdoor water use:

  • Water landscapes only as much as required by the type of landscape, and specific weather patterns of our area, including cutting back on watering times in the spring and fall.
  • Do not water on hot, sunny and/or windy days.  You may actually end up doing more harm than good to your landscape, as well as wasting a significant amount of water.
  • Sweep sidewalks and driveways instead of using the hose to clean them off.
  • Wash your car from a bucket of (biodegradable) soapy water and rinse while parked on or near the grass or landscape so that all water running off goes to beneficial use instead of running down the gutter to waste.
  • Check for and repair leaks in all pipes, hoses, faucets, couplings, valves, etc..  Verify there are no leaks by turning everything off and checking your water meter to see if it is still running.  Some underground leaks may not be visible due to draining off into storm drains, ditches or traveling outside your property.
  • Use mulch around trees shrubs, as well as in your garden to retain as much moisture as possible.  Areas with drip systems will use much less water, particularly during hot, dry and windy conditions.
  • Keep your lawn well trimmed and all other landscaped areas free of weeds to reduce overall water needs in your yard.