Advancements in water management help reduce flood damage

Jun 9, 2023, 6:23 PM

Brigham Pett fishing at Pineview...

Brigham Pett said the fishing is much better at Pineview this year because of all the water. (KSL TV)


MORGAN COUNTY, Utah — The weather is playing a significant role in minimizing our flood damage, and with a record snowpack comes record runoff.

These days technology is also being credited for helping governments and water managers prepare in ways they couldn’t in past decades.

This summer at the lake is starting to look really good, especially for people who are out multiple times a week, like Brigham Pett at Pineview.

“I’m a regular,” he said. “The muskies, Hah! The tiger muskies keep me coming back every time.”

Things were not like this just weeks ago.

Scott Paxman with the Weber Basin Conservancy District said, “We’re going to fill every reservoir that we have. They’re all within a percent or two of filling right now.”

Pineview lake

Water levels at Pineview have created a great environment for fishing and boating this summer. (KSL TV)

He said the district has tools to help them decide when to drain and fill the reservoirs, including several new SNOWTEL sites that measure the runoff.

“We’ve increased in a lot of technology and we’ve gained a lot of data. We’ve gained a lot of expertise,” Paxman said.

It’s not perfect – damage still happens.

“I think we’re prepared and really got a lot of things ready to go in case we had some major flooding,” Bret Heiner, public works director in Morgan County said.

While the county is facing some flood damage, Heiner was astounded that it’s not worse.

“There’s such a great community and communication that goes on here in the state of Utah. It’s just amazing how everybody works together,” he added.

Public works and emergency managers are using some of that same data to know where waterways needed to be cleared.

Much of that started coming together as we saw some nearly full reservoirs.

Pett said, “Makes the fishing better in my opinion. Just makes for more a more fun day.”

Not to forget, everyone credits Mother Nature right now.

Our gradual warm-ups and cool-downs worked wonders in minimizing the damage.

That’s something we didn’t have in 1983.

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Advancements in water management help reduce flood damage