Currently there are several proposals for new housing or apartment developments in Mount Pleasant. I am not opposed to new development, but we need to carefully look at our resources first.
Didn’t we just have a drastic irrigation or secondary water shortage this past summer? I see large lawns on many residential lots in Mount Pleasant. I’m pretty sure they are huge because our secondary irrigation water is unmetered.
If irrigation were metered, like culinary water, then most citizens would think twice about planting large lawns. I am aware of some funding coming down the pike to help convert our secondary irrigation to a metered system. This can’t come soon enough.
I believe that part of the issue is that our mountains (Skyline Drive to the east) are not as tall as those along the Wasatch Front, so they cannot store the quantity of snowpack that the High Uintas or the mountains east of Ogden, Salt Lake and Provo can.
I heard that a big part of the water problem this past summer was that many citizens started using culinary water for irrigation purposes, depleting our culinary reserves and taking the city’s two water tanks down to a “dangerous” level. It is my understanding that a traditional “lawn” consumes many times the water that a typical household uses “inside” the home.
Recently, I saw a proposal by Governor Cox, where the state would pay or credit people to rip out their lawns. Some other cities in the western US have already provided such incentives. After all, we live in a desert, don’t we? If the governor is encouraging us to use xeriscaping principles by eliminating or reducing water-consuming lawns, then perhaps any new developments in the county might consider stringent water conservation by-laws or regulations.
I applaud the city council for instigating a policy of a “sliding scale” water rate for culinary water, thus discouraging citizens from using too much water.
In conclusion I suggest:
1. Accelerating the process of instigating metered secondary water for Mount Pleasant.
2. Consider passing city ordinances that emphasize conservation of water for new housing permits.
3. Reward those that remove or reduce lawn sizes for existing housing.
Remember, water, unlike electricity, cannot be obtained by going out on the grid and buying more when needed. It is a precious resource with a finite supply.
Mt. Pleasant, Utah