Planning and preparing for water shortages
Salt Lake City’s earliest leaders used foresight in developing a water utility that could address infrastructure challenges, drought and other acts of nature. Our water supply and distribution system are built and managed with redundancy — that is, with multiple water sources and storage capabilities. Our drinking water comes from the mountain watershed, wells, springs and groundwater. We draw water from storage and distribution reservoirs and distribution tanks across the Salt Lake Valley.
But water shortages are a historic reality and always a possibility.
In 2003, the Salt Lake City Council enacted its Water Shortage Contingency Ordinance. The ordinance empowers Public Utilities to maintain a Water Shortage Contingency Plan in the event of drought. The five-stage plan allows the Public Utilities director, based on water supply data, to recommend the mayor enact a water conservation advisory, based on mild to critical conditions.