Farmington implements mandatory water restrictions

Landscape watering days based on odd or even house numbers

Hannah Grover
The Daily Times
This fountain at the Pigford Rose Garden in Farmington will not be used during the stage-2 drought conditions imposed by the city.
  • Outdoor watering restricted to three days a week in Farmington.
  • Fire chiefs say dry conditions could create dangerous fires this year.

FARMINGTON — The City of Farmington has implemented mandatory water restrictions following a nearly 30 percent increase in water use compared to last year after the city asked for voluntary conservation.

The Farmington City Council unanimously approved a Water Shortage Watch, which is the second stage of its drought management plan, during its Tuesday evening meeting. The meeting and related documents can be viewed online at fmtn.org.

Even number houses in Farmington can water landscaping only on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays while odd number houses can water landscaping only on Wednesdays, Fridays and Sundays. Fees will be imposed for violating the water restrictions.

Greyson White, left, and his brother Owen White play Wednesday at Berg Park's Splash Pad in Farmington.

A Water Shortage Warning — or stage three of the plan — will begin July 16 unless delayed by the city manager. During stage three, people will see surcharges if they use more than 6,000 gallons a month. People who use less than 6,000 gallons will receive credits.

Information about the drought can be found at fmtn.org/drought. People can find information about reporting excess water use, including at city-owned facilities, on the website.

Residents who attended the meeting Tuesday evening expressed concerns with the city continuing to water city-owned landscaping while others are reducing their consumption.

One resident asked if the city was getting special treatment and quoted George Orwell’s novel “Animal Farm,” saying “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.”

Roses soak in the sun Wednesday at the Pigford Rose Garden in Farmington. They may be seeing a bit less water under new watering restrictions.

Mayor Nate Duckett said millions of dollars of taxpayer money has gone into the city landscaping. He said the elected officials and city staff are held to the same standards as everyone else in the city. Duckett said he is working on changing landscaping in his yard to require less water use.

“If I don’t lead by example, I’m not serving my community,” he said.

Earlier in the meeting, Councilor Sean Sharer said his family is trying to cut its water bill in half in an effort to conserve water. Sharer was concerned that larger families will have surcharges even if they do not water any outdoor landscaping.

The city has identified areas to reduce water use. Information about the city’s watering schedule can be found at fmtn.org. City buildings will only water landscaping three days a week and the medians and grass in the parks will be watered four days a week. The fountain in Pigford Rose Garden will be turned off and hours will be reduced at the splash pads. The city will also reduce watering of the roughs at golf courses and the driving range at Piñon Hills Golf Course. There will not be any restrictions on watering athletic fields unless the city reaches stage four of its plan.

Hannah Grover covers government for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 or via email hgrover@daily-times.com.

A bee lands on a rose Wednesday at the Pigford Rose Garden in Farmington.