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Q: What water conservation stage is the town at now?

A: The town of Payson is currently at water conservation level one, which states that "water users are encouraged to minimize waste" and bans washing "paved areas such as drives, sidewalks, or tennis courts except for health or safety."

Although this is the least restrictive conservation level, it is important to remember that the town of Payson has a limited water source and that the entire Southwest is currently experiencing a protracted drought. As the town's award-winning water conservation ordinance 620 mandates, water must be "utilized in the maximum beneficial way and waste, unreasonable use, (and) unreasonable method of use of water" are prohibited at all times.

Under the ordinance, passed in 2003, conservation levels are tied to "resource status levels" that incorporate weather conditions and historic data as well as storage reserves. The new ordinance replaced one that based conservation levels entirely on the amount of water in storage tanks.

Call 474-5251, ext. 147, to reach Roundup's What's Up? line. Leave your question on the answering machine and we'll try to find the answer.

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