District cuts outdoor watering by half

District cuts outdoor watering by half

Lawn and landscaping at Davis School District facilities will look different this summer. 

“Everybody knows we are in a terrible drought, a severe drought. Water is basically in short supply, said Davis School District Environmental Maintenance Services Director John Swain.  

Grass will be cut to four inches and is expected to turn brown in some places as the district aims to cut water use in half. 

“We are just trying to think outside the box,” said Davis School District Outdoor Division Coordinator Jeff Olsen said. “We are taking our grounds department in a whole new direction.”

Taller, dryer grass means there will be a higher likelihood of bugs and weeds that may affect recreational sports on district property. 

“[It is]obviously a big challenge,” said Swain. 

The district is closely monitoring soil moisture levels and will only water lawn sections once per week, as required by the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. 

“We’ve got to be able to cut back on our outdoor landscape watering and things like that, to ensure our drinking water supply,” said John Perry, with the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. 

As of mid-June, all of Davis County is experiencing a severe drought, according to the State of Utah. 

“We need to have [water] in place so that going into next year, we have our drinking water secure,” said Perry. 

Davis School District is actively taking steps to permanently conserve water by installing drought-tolerant lawns and landscaping with customized irrigation at many school properties. 

“We were able to cut back last year by 60 percent. We actually cut back far more than what [the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District] asked us to,” said Jeff Olsen. 

Davis School District is strictly Weber Basin’s once-a-week watering restrictions. However, sections of sprinklers may be on at the largest properties across multiple days.  

“We can’t possibly water 100 stations within a night,” said Olsen. “But we will follow the guidelines and we will water one station per week but we may have water on almost every night.” 

Recreational fields may also be restricted if the grass becomes too stressed. 

“We want to be good stewards of the taxpayer dollars. We are doing what we can to make sure that when people drive by, they see that we are taking care of it,” Olsen said.