UTAH'S DROUGHT

Snowpack totals are in a ‘comfortable spot’ for northern Utah

Jan 24, 2024, 6:54 PM | Updated: 7:15 pm

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s outdoors is looking pretty, especially for people in the water business.

“Things have improved a lot since the end of January,” said Laura Haskell, drought coordinator for the Utah Division of Water Resources.

She says all that snow northern Utah finally got the past few weeks put us in a comfortable spot.

“We are right about where we should be for snowpack. Right about average, typical for this time of year,” she said.

That snow is equal to about 8 inches of water on average.

Doubling that total by April

Haskell hopes it gets to 16 inches of snow water equivalent by the first of April when the snowpack typically peaks. It will only add to reservoirs, which are already at about 80% full in northern Utah thanks to last winter.

“Last year, those storms, they just really got a lot of water into our reservoirs and made a huge difference,” Haskell said.

Southern Utah is especially thankful for last winter.

Reservoirs in Washington County are at about 100% full, but this year’s snowpack isn’t looking so good.

“Here in the southern part of the State, unfortunately, we are only at about 50% average snowpack right now,” said Zachary Renstrom, general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District.

Renstrom also says their predictions show the area won’t get the snowpack they hope to achieve.

Conservation will be key

It means conservation will continue to be important, which is something he says residents have already been doing.

“We used 1.2 billion gallons less of water than we did the previous year, and so that shows that you can grow and have a thriving economy and still have water conservation,” Renstrom said. “We are really proud of that down here.”

Water managers in northern Utah also say conservation will be important there as well as it always is.

Last year’s winter was record-breaking, and so far, things look good this year, but they say you never know when that could all change.

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Snowpack totals are in a ‘comfortable spot’ for northern Utah