Utah Water Conditions Update

Utah Water Conditions Update

Published 12-21-23

SALT LAKE CITY (Dec. 20, 2023) – As of late-December, northern Utah has seen some positive progress in the snow season, while the southern part of the state is still recording below-normal numbers. With 105 days remaining until the typical peak snowpack, the state is planning for all scenarios. 

Statewide Snow Water Equivalent (SWE), which determines the amount of water available in the snow, is slightly below normal for this time of year. One notable highlight is soil moisture, which is in a favorable state. Adequate soil moisture supports healthy spring runoff, agricultural activities and sustaining ecosystems. 

Utah’s reservoirs, vital for storing water for various needs, currently stand at 78% full statewide. This is around 20% higher than normal reservoir levels for this time of year. For the most part, reservoirs will likely stay near these levels until spring runoff. 

“It’s early in the season, and I’m hopeful Mother Nature will deliver some much-needed snow, but we are planning for all possibilities,” Candice Hasenyager, director of the Division of Water Resources, said. “We need to be vigilant to changing conditions and ready for whatever amount of snow the state receives from now until April.”

The division continues to help Utahns save water across all sectors. Now is an excellent time to maximize indoor water efficiency by checking for leaks and upgrading old fixtures with water-efficient ones. 

“We are naturally spending more time indoors during the holidays. Take this time to be a good water steward in your home,” Hasenyager said. “Even if it’s not on your loved one’s gift list, a water-efficient toilet (tied with a big bow) can make a great gift! ”

To encourage water conservation among Utahns, the Department of Natural Resources continues to promote initiatives such as the Agricultural Optimization Program for farmers and SlowtheFlow.org for residents. These programs aim to educate and incentivize water-saving practices, ensuring Utahns become more drought resilient and prepare for future conditions.

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For more information, contact Michael Sanchez, public information officer, at 385-226-8967 or email msanchez@utah.gov.

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