Utah water managers work to prevent problems before spring runoff

Apr 2, 2024, 6:00 PM | Updated: 6:55 pm

SALT LAKE CITY Utah’s snowpack is strong, sitting at just over 130% of normal, ahead of the spring runoff.

That means there’s a lot of water waiting to come down from the mountains.

On Tuesday, Salt Lake City water managers increased the amount of water being released from Little Dell Reservoir down Parley’s Creek, to try to prevent problems later.

The increase was necessary due to the strong snowpack and recent storms, said Laura Briefer, director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities. She warned the public to be careful around the creek.

Laura Briefer, director of Salt Lake City Public Utilities, warns the public to be careful around Parley’s Creek. (Greg Anderson, KSL TV)

“It might look a little faster,” Briefer said. “It might look a little deeper.”

The rushing water was on full display Tuesday afternoon at Sugar House Park as Tim Lont played with his dog, Bo.

“I think it’s great, especially for the Great Salt Lake,” Lont said, “get some more water flowing over that way.”

That is, in fact, where the water is flowing.

“Parley’s Creek ultimately ends up in the Jordan River,” Briefer said, “which then ultimately ends up in the Great Salt Lake.”

Snowpack is ‘really nice’

Jordan Clayton, who runs the Utah Snow Survey, said he’s not concerned at this point about flooding. (Greg Anderson, KSL TV)

Jordan Clayton, who runs the Utah Snow Survey, said this year’s snowpack is “really nice,” especially after last year.

“The last time we’ve had back-to-back years that were this far above normal was 2005 and 2006,” Clayton said.

But all that water has to go somewhere. Reservoirs are already pretty full – even before the spring runoff. That has officials sending water downstream quickly.

Clayton said at this point, he’s not as concerned about flooding as he was last year. That is, as long as the weather cooperates.

“If things stay cool and wet for a long time and then suddenly go really hot and dry, that’s where you can get into a larger flooding concern,” he said.

For now, Clayton is optimistic this year’s snowpack will put a dent in some of the state’s bigger problems.

“This year with the reservoirs being in much better shape, we’re not going to need to store as much water,” Clayton said. “which just means that a larger percentage of that excess water could make it downstream to larger bodies of water – like the Great Salt Lake, like Lake Powell – that really critically need as much as they can get.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Local News

FILE PHOTO (Davis County Sheriff's Search and Rescue)...

Mary Culbertson

Search and rescue looking for Washington hiker in Davis County, Utah

A 25-year-old Washington woman is being pursued by search and rescue crews in Davis County after she did not return from a hiking trip.

14 minutes ago

Curtis Bennett, executive director of One Kind Act a Day joins the show, discussing the foundation'...


Sunday Edition: Curtis Bennett and Jay Evensen

Curtis Bennett, executive director of One Kind Act a Day joins the show, discussing the foundation's recent summit on kindness. Later, Deseret News opinion editor Jay Evensen joins to discuss the impact of sports betting.

1 hour ago

Payson High School kids attend prom at the school on Saturday, April 20, 2024. (Scott G. Winterton,...

Brianna Chavez

Payson High students celebrate prom with a ‘Footloose’ theme

Saturday morning was busy for many Payson High School students. Hundreds of teens helped build kits for actor Kevin Bacon's charity SixDegrees.

13 hours ago

Police say 13-year-old Aaliyah Rose Cabrera-Utai was last seen in Midvale on Friday afternoon aroun...

Mark Jones

Unified Police seeking the public’s help in locating missing teenager

The Unified Police Department is seeking the public's assistance in locating a missing teenager.

15 hours ago

A Utah Highway Patrol emblem is pictured as shown on the side of a UHP vehicle. (Utah Highway Patro...

Mark Jones

One person dead in southern Utah car pursuit

The Utah Highway Patrol says one person died following a crash in a police pursuit Saturday in southern Utah.

17 hours ago

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get...

Emma Benson

Everybody cut loose: Utah actress recalls experience filming ‘Footloose’

Remember the scene in "Footloose" when Ariel climbs out of her friends' moving car and tries to get into her boyfriend's truck? The driver – Ariel's friend, Edna – was played by then-19-year-old BYU acting student Kim Abunuwara.

19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Stylish room interior with beautiful Christmas tree and decorative fireplace...

Lighting Design

Create a Festive Home with Our Easy-to-Follow Holiday Prep Guide

Get ready for festive celebrations! Discover expert tips to prepare your home for the holidays, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere for unforgettable moments.

Battery low message on mobile device screen. Internet and technology concept...

PC Laptops

9 Tips to Get More Power Out of Your Laptop Battery

Get more power out of your laptop battery and help it last longer by implementing some of these tips from our guide.

Utah water managers work to prevent problems before spring runoff