News - Washington City Utah

Council’s Corner

Our Lives Depend On It

No natural resource is more valuable than water, especially in the desert. Access to and conservation of water has always been among the highest priorities for those who live here. In the mid 1800’s, settlers wisely chose to establish Washington City in close proximity to Adair Spring, Warm Springs, and Mill Creek. They understood the necessity of water to sustain life. Being industrious and forward thinking, they created irrigation networks to channel water to their gardens and to the Cotton Factory. Over time, additional water sources were discovered and the massive undertaking of digging a 10’ wide and over 8 mile long canal through the Washington Fields commenced and became a reality by the year 1900. This was a large-scale, collaborative project that ultimately allowed farmers to flood irrigate their fields and provide water for their livestock. The canal has been critical in sustaining life and livelihood for well over a 100 years. Today we still depend on water from local springs, wells, and runoff throughout the Virgin River Basin. While these sources serve us well, we are quickly reaching their full development potential. Washington City has 7 operating wells that supply water to our residents, and we have 4 additional “lower producing” wells currently under construction. The Washington County Water Conservancy District is tasked with procuring water regionally for municipalities throughout the area. Major sources of drinking water through district resources are Quail Creek and Sand Hollow reservoirs and their associated treatment and distribution facilities. The district also has several projects underway to extend, diversify and add to our water supply. While the city and district are striving to do as much as possible, the reality is we are in a drought. Even with late March rain, local reservoirs are at lower than average levels due to dry ground absorbing much of the runoff prior to it reaching and filling our reservoirs. With the arid nature of our desert climate, water supply is a top concern as we enter the summer months. Because water is scarce, and not an unlimited resource, conservation and wise usage is a must for everyone here today. Like our predecessors, our lives and livelihoods depend on water. Because of that, Washington City is actively seeking and supporting additional water sources while promoting water conservation. Washington City has an ordinance prohibiting watering yards during the hours of 10am to 8pm. Low water usage landscapes on future development will likely be more common. A secondary water system, which is not treated for drinking, but sufficient for lawns, plants and trees is being worked on as a way to preserve our precious culinary water for primarily inside uses and drinking. Each of us can and should do our part to conserve our most precious resource by knowing where our water comes from and being disciplined in how we use it. Our lives depend on it.  Learn more about how to be a part of the solution at

        –Kress Staheli, Washington City Council


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Washington City Utah | (435) 656-6300
111 North 100 East | Washington, Utah 84780 [map]
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