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Irrigation companies shutting off water early because of the drought

SALT LAKE CITY — The Davis-Weber Canal company shut down its secondary water system on Wednesday, unable to continue providing irrigation water because of the drought. Other irrigation companies are expected to follow in short order.

About half of the secondary water systems in Utah are served by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. General Manager Tage Flint said he expects to see more of them turning off their spigots in the coming days.

“Several of the companies in the western Weber County area will be off this next week, so sometime between now and September 8th,” Flint told KSL Newsradio.

The district itself expects to continue providing irrigation water through September 20th. Some companies served by the Weber district, such as Bountiful Irrigation, said they’ll continue to provide secondary water until October 1st.

Water through the end of the month is about the most secondary water users can expect according to Rick Maloy, the water conservation manager for the Central Utah Water Conservancy District in Orem. He said Utah’s recent rains have bought a little time for irrigation companies.

“We’re still looking at the end of the month, the end of September, which is actually coming to be the new normal for when systems taper off,” he said.

Water managers discourage secondary water customers from using their indoor culinary water to continue irrigating after the secondary systems are cut off. Often, they say, the water comes from the same sources and it needs to be conserved as well.

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