Utah drought update: state downgraded from ‘exceptional drought’

Jan 14, 2022, 1:24 PM | Updated: 1:44 pm
Downtown Salt Lake City, as seen from the foothills over the University of Utah. Officials say drou...
FILE: Downtown Salt Lake City, as seen from the foothills over the University of Utah. Officials say drought conditions in the state are at extreme levels.

SALT LAKE CITY — Thanks to heavy snowfall in December, Utah is making a positive comeback for snowpack. According to the Utah Division of Water Resources, 95% of Utah’s water supply comes from snowpack. This means that in the coming months Utah will need significant snowstorms to refill the state’s reservoirs.

“The last four months have been sort of a rollercoaster ride,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. “November was dry, but thankfully December storms put Utah in a better spot. It’s important to note that the drought is not over.”

The good news is that Utah has been downgraded from the exceptional drought category; although 31.81% remains in “extreme drought.” Additionally, soil moisture is above average for this time of year at 11% above median.

Many of Utah’s reservoirs are lower than their full capacity, and 35 of 45 reservoirs are below 55% capacity. To put it in perspective, overall statewide storage is at 52% of capacity currently, while at this same time last year, reservoirs were about 62% capacity.

Utah still has 82 days until the snowpack typically peaks, but currently statewide snow water equivalent is 9 inches according to the Utah Division of Water Resources. This is 131% of median for this time of year and 56% of median peak which occurs around the beginning of April.

As far as streams, the Utah Division of Water Resources reports 23 of the 65 measured streams are flowing below normal levels.

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

(KSL TV)...
Casey Scott, KSL TV

Lunch staff prepare for first day of school at Cache County schools

Casey Scott was back in the lunch room, checking things out at Mountain Crest High School where they say they could use a little help in the kitchen.
15 hours ago
In the last two elections women over 50 made up 30% of the overall voter turnout. (AARP)...
Ayanna Likens

Women voters over 50 are a crucial voting bloc in the upcoming election

A new survey from AARP revealed that women voters over 50 are a crucial part of the election turnout.
15 hours ago
Taylorsville police at the scene of the fatal shooting. (Taylorsville Police)...
Josh Ellis

Taylorsville police release identities of man, woman killed in possible murder-suicide

Police have identified the man and woman who were found dead with gunshot wounds Wednesday morning and say they are investigating the deaths as a murder-suicide.
15 hours ago
(West Valley City Police Department)...
Madison Swenson

Police seeking info, evidence related to 99-year-old woman’s homicide

Police are asking for those spending time around the Kamas area in the coming months to keep an eye out for evidence in a homicide case involving a 99-year-old woman. 
15 hours ago
(Photo by Lisa Maree Williams/Getty Images)...
Karah Brackin

Utah families exploring nontraditional teaching options

Some Utah families are looking into different kinds of schooling that are gaining popularity -- homeschooling and pod learning.
15 hours ago
(Salt Lake City Police Department)...
Madison Swenson

Man arrested for illegally possessing gun, drugs and stolen truck

A 24-year-old man was arrested overnight for allegedly possessing a gun, drugs, and stolen truck illegally in Salt Lake City.
15 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

tips how to quit smoking...

7 Tips How to Quit Smoking | Quitting Smoking Might be One of the Hardest Things You Ever Do but Here’s Where You Can Start

Quitting smoking cigarettes can be incredibly difficult. Here are 7 tips how to quit smoking to help you on your quitting journey.
Photo: Storyblocks...
Blue Stakes of Utah 811

Blue Stakes of Utah 811: 5 Reasons To Call 811 Before You Dig When Working in Your Yard

Call before you dig. Even at home, you could end up with serious injuries or broken utilities just because you didn't call Blue Stakes of Utah 811.
Days of...
Days of '47 Rodeo

TRIVIA: How well do you know your rodeo? Take this quiz before you go to the Days of ’47!

The Utah Days of ’47 Rodeo presented by Zions Bank is a one-of-a-kind Gold Medal Rodeo being held July 20-23, 25 at 7:30 PM. The Days of ’47 Rodeo How well do you know your rodeo trivia? Take the quiz to test your know-all before heading out to the Days of ’47 Rodeo at the […]
cyber security through multi factor authentication setup...
Les Olson IT

How multi factor authentication setup helps companies stay safe

Multi factor authentication (MFA) setup is an important security measure that every company should implement for their workers. It’s also wise to install it for your personal and home accounts.
Lighting Design

Check out these stunning lamps with stained glass shades

Lamps with stained glass shades are statement pieces that are more than simply aesthetic. They also meet a functional requirement: to light up a room.
Address Bar of internet browser shows internet access...

Utah voters 50+ support increased access to Internet

The AARP surveyed Utah voters aged 50 plus about internet access and if they support the expansion of broadband, especially in rural areas currently lacking it.
Utah drought update: state downgraded from ‘exceptional drought’