Cedar Hills Blog

Water Conservation Committee

Sun 07 September 2014 water

This year the city appointed a Water Conservation Committee to advise the city on how best to reduce the amount of pressurized irrigation water residents are using. Conservation is needed if we hope to keep usage within the design limits our irrigation system and to provide enough redundancy in case a component of the system fails. Conservation will also be needed if the area experiences extended drought. In this post, I will share the recommendations of the citizens committee.

In 2013 and previous years, the city used far more water than is needed to keep our lawns healthy. For details on why this is a problem and the negative effects for our system, see my previous post on our pressurized irrigation system.

Committee Formation

On 7 January 2014, the city adopted a resolution approving creation of a Water Conservation Citizens Advisory Committee. On 4 February 2014 the following members were recommended by Mayor Gygi and approved by the city council:

  • Richard Noble, Chair
  • Joel Wright
  • Brady Daley
  • Pricilla Leak
  • Cliff Chandler
  • Betty Jo McKinlay

Then on 4 March 2014 three more members were appointed:

  • Paul Blaine Clyde
  • Randy Gehring
  • Jon Traveller

Committee Recommendations

The committee met several times, and individual members conducted research on conservation. The committee made the following recommendations on 15 April 2014, copied verbatim:

Water Conservation Goal

The committee recommends that the City establish a water conservation goal. The recommended initial goal is that the P.I System water consumption be reduced to 50 percent of 2013 levels. This would be a very significant amount of conservation that could be achieved without altering the look or feel of our community.

Metering (Implement prior to 2015 irrigation season)

  • The city is unlikely to achieve significant water conservation without metering
  • Meters should be installed at all P.I. System connections
  • Meters should be installed at all City-owned facilities such as golf course, parks, parkways, and trails

Education (begin implementation in 2014)

  • Education is needed whether meters are installed or not
  • People need an incentive to become educated
  • City could provide a credit on utility bills for residents receiving water audits
  • Encourage residents to take advantage of the rebated program offered by Central Utah Water Conservancy District
  • City could develop a notification process (telephone or email) when P.I. System usage exceeds recommended seasonal usage
  • City needs to provide a weekly watering guide indicating how much irrigation water should be applied
  • During the irrigation season the City newsletter should provide water conservation tips
  • Have a Water Conservation Yard of the Month program similar to the City's regular Yard of the Month program
  • Send out a letter separately from the City utility bill and newsletter explaining the problems with the P.I. System and the need for water conservation
  • Post signs at strategic locations throughout the city showing current water usage vs. goal
  • If meters are installed, water usage on utility bills could be compared to water efficient neighbors similar to Rocky Mountain Power program
  • Provide an education program in elementary schools on water conservation and encourage children to discuss it with parents
  • Educate residents that metering is coming and we need to learn to use less now to avoid large financial impacts
  • Workshops could be conducted by volunteers on irrigation system maintenance
  • City could install trial/demo meters at selected homes throughout the City and results could be made available

Water Rates

The committee recommends that the City implement an ascending block rate structure for P.I. water usage. The rates should take into account lot size and seasonal irrigation requirements. The City could provide a very attractive rate for residents who use less than the recommended amount, a moderate rate for those who use close to the recommended amount, and then progressively higher rates for those who waste water.


The city is actively pursuing these recommendations. See the Water Conservation page for details, along with the city's progress toward our conservation goals.