SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) – Drought conditions continue to plague the state. According to the U.S. Drought Monitor, 99.88% of the state is experiencing “severe” drought conditions or worse. “Extreme” conditions are impacting 83% of the state. In June about 8% of the state moved into the “Exceptional” category, which is the worst category, for the first time this year.

Utah has experienced drought eight of the last 10 years. Water from reservoir storage was used heavily last summer due to dismal spring runoff. With snowpack around the state peaking 25% below normal, our reservoirs will again not fill as they typically would. And 53% of streams are flowing below or much below normal, (7 day average).

How long are we going to be in drought?

The experts with the Utah Division of Water Management, do not know how long this drought will last, but they do know that what we do as individuals, families, businesses, institutions, and industries will help ensure clean and reliable water for generations to come. They say, all Utahns need to increase our resiliency in these uncertain times. It is essential to use our water wisely to ensure it’s available now and into the future.

What will it take to get the state out of drought?

According to the Division of Water Managment, the state would need multiple years of above normal snowpack to reverse drought impacts. Utah’s reservoirs started the year in a worse situation compared to last year.

What actions can residents take?

The major water savings happen outdoors. Scale back on watering your lawn and be strategic about when you water. For more information on that, the Lawn Watering Guide is a great resource to help you apply the right amount of water to your lawn. Use a smart irrigation controller to help take the guesswork out of watering. The state offers money-saving rebates that can cover some, if not all, of the cost of some models. Landscaping your yard so it requires less mowing and watering is also good. And water plants, not the pavement – make sure your watering system is covering what really needs watering and avoid watering on windy days.

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