The water supply for the Wasatch Front comes from three water sheds: the Bear River, the Weber River, and the Provo River Basins. An interesting geological note is that all three of these rivers have their headwaters in the Uinta Mountains, just south of the Utah-Wyoming border. The Weber River Basin is bookended by the Bear River and the Provo River Basins. Our water supply is managed by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District located at the intersection of SR 193 and US Highway 89. Most of our culinary and secondary water here in Syracuse comes from Echo Reservoir. As you can see in the teacup diagram, Echo Reservoir was only at 17% of capacity on August 11th this year. At that point, we still had more than a month to go until secondary water shut off. That will occur on September 20th.
I want to thank the council and staff for their careful management of our water systems. They have two systems to manage, which is unique among Utah cities. Most of the solution to our water shortage came from you, our residents. You quickly began to follow city guidelines for watering this year. You were wonderful. After July 1st, the city saw a marked increase in those following guidelines. Thank you for your compliance. Again, you give me evidence of the goodness of this community. No wonder my wife and I love it so.
We are not out of the woods, however. It will take a couple of heavy snow years to recharge our storage up stream. I’m reminded of a short film by T.C. Christensen entitled, The Pump1. In this short, a man driving to Rice, Nevada, in 1947, takes a short cut to Las Vegas along an abandoned road. He has car trouble and must walk for help. He arrives at a ghost town, dying of thirst, and discovers a single hand pump over an abandoned well. He finds a quart jar with water in it and a note to prime the pump with the water; not to drink it. In his haste, he drinks the water but ends up dying. The final scene shows a drop of water coming from the pump. There was water there, but he mismanaged it. It might be wise to add prayer to our management tool belt. Water, as we all know, comes free from above.
Mayor Mike Gailey
1 The Pump; TC Christensen, 1988