Due to increasing drought conditions and excessive water use, Riverton City is asking residents and businesses alike to cut their culinary and secondary water use by 25%. City-wide, 6-7 million gallons of culinary water** and 30-34 million gallons of secondary water** are being consumed each day. That equates to an average of 683 gallons used per day per household of culinary water and 2,952 gallons per day per household of secondary water.
“We realize this may be an inconvenience for some people, but the conditions are such that we are going to have a real problem if we don’t immediately begin to reduce our water use,” said Riverton City Manager Konrad Hildebrandt. “This conservation request is going to take a concerted effort and a change in habits.”
Riverton is unique in that every residential address has secondary water access available for a flat monthly rate based on lot size; a cost-saving service that most cities cannot or do not provide. Secondary water is not metered in the city, which is the likely cause of excessive consumption. Currently, the system is operating above recommended capacity, causing some variation in pressure in certain areas of the city. The system is designed and capable of accommodating all recommended water needs from Riverton’s growing population but was not designed to accommodate excessive use from individual users.
“People generally don’t know how much water they are actually using to keep their lawns green. It’s more than you might think and we need everyone to cut back in Riverton,” said Scott Hill, Riverton City’s water director. “We know people want to keep their lawns green this time of year, but the fact is, if a lawn is totally green right now, it is being over-watered. Brown spots are going to show up and we all need to get comfortable with that.”
Riverton City has already begun to take measures to cut back watering on the 473 acres of city parks and other green space. The state-recommended amount of water for this time of year in the area is about 1.83 inches of water per week. The city is averaging about 1.5 inches on city green space per week, which is about 25% less than the recommended amount.
“Just turning back your sprinkler clock five minutes overall will help with the situation. Everyone in Riverton needs to do their part to ensure that we are conserving water and using what we have in a responsible way,” said Hildebrandt.
Right now, the 25% reduction in water use is voluntary. However, should the water situation worsen, and the current trend not change, city officials will evaluate what additional options may be available to curb excessive use.
**Culinary and secondary water statistics are usage amounts for the city as a whole, not just residential users. The statistics are shown this way to illustrate how many gallons are being used, on average, by a household, including the amount of water businesses and public services use that support those households. The figure is just an average and is only meant to show the amount of water consumption used in the city down in an understandble way.