No new developments, per Utah town faced with drought

Oakley, Utah enacts ban on new developments, landscaping due to drought

Oakley City, Utah, is placing a 180-day moratorium on new building permits. The reason, according to E&E News, is because of extreme drought.

Oakley City has a population of around 1,500 people and is part of the Salt Lake City metropolitan statistical area. Two springs and a well supply the city’s water.  A new well is expected to be complete next year, E&E reports.

The City Council voted unanimously to issue an ordinance in May, saying they wanted to avoid a potential water crisis and prioritize the water uses for the city’s current residents. The ordinance places a six-month moratorium on new building permits that need water supply for connections.  Ordinance 2021-06 also stops the installation of new landscaping that requires city water for irrigation.

The Ordinance (PDF file link) recites that “the city is concerned that the current drought conditions will result in critical water shortages and require further drastic curtailment measures that would be detrimental to the entire city and cause significant public harm.”

Image Source:

Oakley, Summit County, Utah Town Hall (2011).  Antonio Cavallo


Since 1995, Deborah has owned and operated LegalTech LLC with a focus on water rights. Before moving to Arizona in 1986, she worked as a quality control analyst for Honeywell and in commercial real estate, both in Texas. She learned about Arizona's water rights from the late and great attorney Michael Brophy of Ryley, Carlock & Applewhite. Her side interests are writing (and reading), Wordpress programming and much more.

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