Large amounts of water sent to Great Salt Lake ahead of spring runoff

Apr 16, 2024, 6:15 PM | Updated: 6:44 pm

LAYTON — While Utah did not have a record water year this year, water managers say there is so much water that some is being sent into the Great Salt Lake.

Scott Paxman, general manager and CEO of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, said the district will send 400,000 acre-feet of water from its reservoirs into the Great Salt Lake.

“All of our reservoirs are currently pretty full, about 75% on average full. Whereas last year, we started way low. We were trying to make room for all the runoff,” Paxman said.

February snow totals guarantee above-normal snowpack, Great Salt Lake level increases

This is not the first time water managers sent excess water to the Great Salt Lake. Last year, billions of gallons of water were sent from the Willard Bay because of the spring runoff.

He said normally, they are scrambling to fill the reservoirs. But this year, the reservoirs that serve five counties across the Wasatch Front have filled up.

Paxman said the district should be able to manage the snowpack, but he cautions that the water supply will not be abundant.

“Hopefully, our customers know that even in good years, we really want to be more efficient with our water use. And so, you don’t wait for good years and use it as much as you want it. You should always be more efficient with water use,” he said.

The Willard Spillway sending water to the Great Salt Lake.

The Willard Spillway sending water to the Great Salt Lake. (Mike Anderson, KSL TV)

Paxman said what’s really helping right now with those well above-average snowpack.

“Last year was crazy. But this year is above normal, which we couldn’t have asked for a better year,” he said.

Paxman said while the flood concern isn’t as bad as last year, there is a lot of risk. But the district is watching areas along the Ogden River’s South Fork and Oakley.

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Large amounts of water sent to Great Salt Lake ahead of spring runoff