Perform A Water Use Evaluation

Before any strategies or improvements can be identified, current water-use circumstances need to be evaluated. Utah State Code §10-9a-403 establishes that municipalities must:

  • Address the effect of permitted development or patterns of development on water demand and water infrastructure;
  • Address the methods of reducing water demand and per capita consumption for existing and future development;
  • Address the opportunities for the municipality to modify its operations to eliminate practices or conditions that waste water;
  • Review their land use ordinances and include a recommendation for changes to an ordinance that promotes the inefficient use of water; and
  • Consult with the public water system(s) serving the municipality with drinking water regarding how implementation of the land use element and water use and preservation element may affect:
    • Water supply planning, including drinking water source and storage capacity;
    • Water distribution planning, including master plans, infrastructure asset management programs and plans, infrastructure replacement plans, and impact fee facilities plans.

Meaning at a minimum, municipalities should read through their current general plan land use element and consider the build-out impacts with public water system(s). 

After reading the general plan, municipalities should review their established ordinances to see if there are any parts that waste or promote the wasting of water. If any such provisions exist, they should be replaced with more water-efficient ones. We at civiclinQ also suggest that municipalities amend the infrastructure element of their general plan to add a section devoted to water issues and include a summary report of the municipality’s current water use.