Provo’s forward-looking water management plan is designed to provide for our ongoing city needs—even during drought conditions. Provo City staff has worked hard to ensure sufficient water for our citizens this summer and throughout the year—and there is sufficient water as long as residents will use it wisely.

As a city, we are issuing common-sense water recommendations, rather than mandates, knowing the latter often create the largest water consumption with citizens essentially declaring a ‘run on the bank’ demanding their allotment, whether needed or not.

Provo citizens are encouraged to manage their water use carefully and responsibly with the following tips:

  • Water no more than 3 days each week

  • Maintain at least 48 hours between watering cycles, with garden areas an exception

  • Avoid outdoor watering during daytime hours, especially between 10 am and 8 pm

Provo's Water Storage

Water management can be complex because most people focus only on surface water they can actually see, such as rivers and reservoirs. Ground water, while not visible, is a far more abundant source of fresh water. Residents might be surprised to learn 90% of Provo’s water is generated from ground water sources.

The ground water cycle is simply illustrated as rivers and streams discharging into lakes where the water evaporates and then falls as moisture over the mountains. The water then returns to rivers or manmade reservoirs in the mountains, eventually making it back to lakes, where the cycle begins again.

What is largely ignored are the lower parts of the water cycle where infiltration and percolation into the ground water aquifer occur. Over the past three years, Provo City has been proactively testing several sites where the groundwater aquifer can be recharged through infiltration and percolation, a process known as Aquifer Storage and Recovery. In contrast to creating a "run on the bank", ASR has been likened to "depositing money in the bank."

Ground water aquifer levels have diminished an average of 30 feet over the last 50 years in Provo. While this may not seem like a lot, the rate of decline is increasing and now is the right time to intervene. Areas in the western US, where they have ignored declining ground water levels, eventually lose this as a source of water and may experience other consequences.

Provo City is actively managing surface and water sources together for a holistic approach. While surface water management, and even importing water from outside the Utah County basin, is important in the long term, better overall holistic water management within the county may be more important.

In addition to active ASR projects, such as those in Provo, using innovation to eliminate water loss from our most egregious waste sources, including Utah Lake is encouraged. Given the shallow nature of the lake and very large surface area, the State Engineer’s office estimated between 100,000 and 250,000 ac ft of water is lost to evaporation each year.

Eliminating even the lowest estimated water evaporation loss of 100,000 ac ft from Utah Lake would provide sufficient water for the indoor and outdoor water use of 500,000 people.

Provo City Parks and Recreation Water Conservation Message

Provo Parks and Recreation has long utilized water conservative management practices even before these recent drought conditions. Park irrigation is controlled through WeatherTrack, a centralized control system that allows City grounds managers to make quickly make global adjustments to irrigation schedules, run times and maximize rainfall events.

Water conservative landscaping is used at facilities that prioritizes irrigation in highly used areas, and minimizes water in other areas where it is not necessary. Drip irrigation and other water efficient landscaping techniques are also a key design element that will be featured on the grounds surrounding the new City Hall building.

Other water conservative practices include the Timpanogos Golf Course, a Provo City facility that irrigates all fairways and greens with secondary water sources, including secondary effluent water that is discharged directly from Provo’s Wastewater Treatment plant. This use of reclaimed sources saves millions of gallons of treated water each year that can then be redirected to residences and business within Provo.

Even Provo City aquatic facilities are designed to conserve water, with screening and filtration systems that recirculate water from Splash pads and swimming pools to treatment tanks and then back to the aquatic features.

Parks and Recreation will continue to monitor grounds carefully and observe the irrigation guidelines recommended by Mayor Kaufusi as we work together to protect and conserve our limited water resources in Provo.

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  • Michelle

Thousands of runners are coming to Provo for the Utah Valley Marathon on Saturday, June 5, 2021. They are sure to bring passion, power and positive impact with them.

The Utah Valley Marathon, one of the fastest spring marathons around, is a qualifier for the Boston Marathon and one of the most beautiful runs. Mountains, lush farmland, cascading waterfalls, the rushing Provo River, Deer Creek Reservoir and national parks surround the runners on every turn. It’s a great event for them. It’s a great event for us.

We anticipate this premier race will bring over 8,000 runners and visitors to Provo. 27% of the runners signed up for the marathon are from out-of-state. Those racers and families fill our hotel rooms, eat at our restaurants and shop at our retails stores. It’s estimated that this race alone will bring 1.7 million dollars into our local economy.

The race will finish in our Historic Downtown which is a symbol of all the hard work we’ve put into that vital area of the City. It’s no wonder downtown is recognized on a national level and receives such high rankings. Let’s welcome them with big smiles and open arms and watch for them from 6:00 AM until 2:00 PM.

Road Closures

The outside Northbound lane on University Avenue will be closed from approximately 6:30 am until 2:00 pm. Race participants have the right of way. Traffic will be allowed to cross when there is a break in the runners. There could be a very long delay so please plan ahead. University Avenue will be completely closed between 200 North and 300 South until 2:00 pm. All traffic in Provo Canyon will be traveling in the Westbound lanes. Traffic traveling East and West will be open in one lane each way.

The flyover ramp going into the canyon from 800 North in Orem will be closed. Please detour South at 800 East to Orem Center Street then East to University Avenue where you will be allowed to access the canyon.

We can all work together and get the word out about these road closures and delays and hopefully alleviate any unnecessary stress. Get more detailed information about the marathon here:

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  • Michelle

Provo City’s annual Memorial Day Service will be held on Monday, May 31 at 10:00 am at the Provo City Cemetery (610 S. State Street) in honor of all the servicemen and women who have fought and sacrificed for our country throughout our Nation’s history and all those who are fighting today both at home and abroad.

The event, which was planned by the Provo City Veterans Council and America’s Freedom Festival, is free of charge and open to the public. Active duty and Veterans are encouraged to wear uniforms. In the case of inclement weather, the service will move to the Covey Center for the Arts, 425 W. Center Street. Hope to see you there!

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