By Myrna Trauntvein
A draft form of the Water Management and Conservation Plan (WMCP) was given to the Mona City council members which is now to be considered and reviewed before a final draft is made.
Jesse Ralphs, representing Sunrise Engineering, presented the plan to the council for their consideration.
"While the WMCP sets forth some goals, adopting it will also require that the city adopt an ordinance," Ralphs said.
The Utah Water Conservation Plan Act as revised in 2004 requires water agencies with more than 500 service connections, as well as all water conservancy districts, to submit a water conservation plan to the Utah Division of Water Resources, said Ralphs.
"Water agencies with less than 500 connections may be required to submit a water conservation plan in conjunction with funding requests, which is the case with Mona City," he said.
The state's goal for water conservation is to achieve a reduction of per capita water use of at least 25 percent by 2025. That goal had previously been set for 2050.
Water conservation, said Ralphs, from 2000 to 2010 resulted in an 18 percent reduction in per capita water use. The state is continuing to raise the bar and encourage additional conservation across the state.
"Current average state per capita water use is 240 gpcd (gallons per capita per day) total with 185 gpcd as culinary water," he said.
"The current per capita culinary water usage is 139 gpcd based on the metered usage on the system (for Mona)," he said.
Ralphs said that the city would need to set a conservation goal but it was up to the council where that conservation goal was set. For example, in severe water years, the goal might be different from a wet year but the city should have a plan.
"Your usage is already significantly lower than the state's gpcd," said Ralphs.
The components of a WMCP include a background of the public water system, including current connections, a list of existing resources which would include water rights, sources, distribution facilities and system, the analysis of the current and future water use of the community.
That analysis is to include growth rates, ERCs (Equivalent Residential Connection), water budget and a water rate structure.
The water rate structure will be a component, he said, that will need to be considered. That discussion will be addressed in future meetings.
"You should probably consider the rate at the next council meeting" he said. "Water rate analysis is currently being performed and recommendations for revised rates will be provided."
A tiered overage rate structure was the way the state preferred that a rate structure be designed.
With future growth in mind, said Ralphs, the city council might consider a conservation goal of a 10 percent reduction over ten years and a 15 percent reduction over 20 years.
However, council members will need to review the draft document and determine whether or not they think such a goal is realistic or not.
Further information in the plan will address water concerns, conservation goals and solutions, a water contingency plan and the implementing and updating of the WMCP.
"We are engineers, we are not attorneys," said Ralphs. "You are welcome to pass this by your attorney and get his input."
Once the plan is finalized, he said, it will need to be sent to the state.
Ralphs had a list of questions that needed to be addressed before a final draft could be considered.
Some of those questions consisted of whether or not the total metered usage for the city included culinary water used for cemetery irrigation or not and whether or not there were any water conservation measures being enforced that the engineering firm was unaware of.