Spring runoff water redirected to shrinking Great Salt Lake

Apr 25, 2023, 12:25 PM | Updated: 3:22 pm

DRAPER, Utah — Flooding has already impacted parts of the Wasatch Front even though Utah hasn’t seen a long stretch of warm weather. To help regulate flooding concerns through the spring runoff season, water conservancy districts are coming together with a solution.

“People usually think about water when there’s not enough or way too much,” said Gene Shawcroft, general manager and CEO of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.

In 2023, the state is leaning toward the latter. That is why, starting Tuesday, the water conservancy district is releasing water from the Jordanelle system directly into the Great Salt Lake. They are doing so by utilizing a manmade water system that looks like a waterfall.

Releasing 50 million gallons a day, Shawcroft said the amount of water translates to 100 Olympic-sized swimming pools coming through each day. For perspective, he said the water flowing is nearly enough for 150 homes for about a year.

By releasing the water, he said two things would happen.

“It will help provide water to the Great Salt Lake. And secondly, it will reduce the amount of flow that comes down in the coming weeks when the snow melt begins to come off a lot faster than it’s coming off today,” Shawcroft explained.

He said the Provo River and Utah Lake should get all this water in a few weeks.

As for how long this is scheduled to last, Shawcroft said the water would continue for the next several weeks, dependent on runoff.

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Spring runoff water redirected to shrinking Great Salt Lake