Independent investigation finds no direct evidence of bullying in Izzy Tichenor casApr 08, 2022 10:09AM ● By Becky Ginos
Foxboro fifth-grader Izzy Tichenor took her own life in November. Her mother alleged the 10 year old was bullied at school. An Independent Investigative Team retained by the District to investigate the allegations released its findings last week. Courtesy photo
It seemed ironic that it was pouring rain when the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District Board of Trustees met on March 31 to implement extreme drought measures and restrictions. The district is the wholesale water supplier for Weber, Davis, Morgan, Summit and parts of Box Elder County.
Assistant General Manager Darren Hess briefed the board on water delivery for the 2022 irrigation season and explained that district reservoirs were at 45% capacity and the overall district capacity was 42%. He said all reservoirs remain painfully low, including Pineview, Echo, and Willard Bay (currently under 100,000 acre feet). He said the district had spent $1,500,000 to dredge the Willard Bay inlet so it could be pumped to a new low this year, and explained that Willard is the system source catch-all at the bottom of the Weber and Ogden rivers.
Hess discussed the snowpack levels historically, and said 1962 was the lowest on record and 2021 set the new record. Hess discussed the district storage water and the dilemma in terms of contracts and available water.
“As is, we will have to dig into storage and things are far worse this year,” he said. “If the current situation remains, we could be at risk for water supply in our future drinking water as well.”
Due to the water situation being moved from serious to extreme drought, the following restrictions were adopted unanimously by the Board of Trustees:
• Delayed charge of secondary water systems/irrigation/agricultural until mid-May.
• One day per week watering of lawns and gardens (new landscaping must adhere to these same water restrictions). This includes 20-minutes for pop-up sprayers and 40 minutes for rotary.
• One day per week for hand watering of established trees and shrubs.
• No hosing down sidewalks/driveways.
• Agricultural contracts will be reduced by 40 percent.
• Wholesale and retail secondary irrigation contracts will be reduced by 60%.
• Wholesale culinary contracts will be reduced by 10%, with added reductions proportional to the volume of culinary water used for outdoor irrigation.
• Early shut-off for secondary water systems/irrigation/agricultural in mid-September.
• Increased enforcement patrol and penalties by district personnel.
Hess explained the drought is affecting the district water supply, but added, “typically, mother nature will supply water again.” He said the district does not have land use authority or the ability to dictate development for the rising population, but is looking to city, county and state officials to implement restrictions. He said five-six cities have recently instituted landscaping or water wise ordinances and the district stays active on educating officials to restructure future projects. Discussion followed about the need to work with the state on ways to reduce per-capita water use.
Paul Wilson and Les Ingram of Lawn World inquired about the actual water allotments being reduced, the environmental benefits of landscaping, and expressed concern with enforcement and fines. Hess said an individual is allotted an amount and water is delivered, but water is cut back in times of drought. He said 80-90% of users comply but 10% do not, and the district does have enforcement authority. He further discussed flexibility associated with metered versus non-metered in being able to water, however, they want up to their reduced allocation. Approximately half of the district’s 25,000 customers have meters, and they are required for all new development.
Kim Hunter, owner of Country Gardens Nursery, expressed concern for the entire industry (nurseries, lawn care, sprinklers, arborists, landscapers) and discussed the need to educate people about water waste. He said trees and shrubs require water when they first come out of dormancy, so waiting until mid-May is not beneficial. He said the industry just survived two years of COVID and expressed concern about his employees and inventory. He inquired about other industries and reductions for car washes, golf courses, swimming pools, etc. He encouraged promoting monthly aeration for lawns and mowing higher.
Hess said nobody wants the trees, plants or grass to die but they have to find a way to manage their resources and survive. He said the district is constantly reviewing forecasted runoff projections, soil moistures, and other data to see if these restrictions can be reduced, but “this is the best possible decision for today.” l