UTAH (ABC4) – With the severe drought that Utah has been experiencing, environmentalists are constantly hoping Mother Nature will replenish Utah’s water levels.
With recent snowstorms and moisture blanketing Utah, how much did the weather activity help snowpack levels?
“The good news is that we have almost double the moisture in our soil compared to this time last year, which will improve runoff efficiency,” said Brian Steed, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. “The bad news is that reservoir storage is significantly lower than this time last year, with a statewide average of about 55% of capacity.”
The Utah Division of Water Resources says 95% of Utah’s water supply comes from snowpack. Above-average storms are still needed to replenish reservoirs. At this point, officials say there are 25 days left before snowpack season officially peaks.
So far, over 96% of Utah is still experiencing severe drought and 33% of the state is experiencing extreme drought.
Snowpack levels are currently at 77% of median or higher with the exception of Tooele Valley-Vernon Creek which is at 70% of median.
Twenty-eight of Utah’s largest 45 reservoirs are below 55% of its available capacity. Utah’s statewide storage is at 55.5% of capacity, about ten percent less than last year at this time.
Soil moisture is above-average for this time of year at 7.3%. Officials say wet soils are critical for effective spring runoff. Of the 77 measured streams, 48 streams out of 77 tested streams are flowing below normal.
The Great Salt Lake’s water elevation levels are rising after dropping to a new record low back in Oct. 2021. It’s currently at 4191.1 feet.
“Levels are expected to continue to rise through early spring until the irrigation season begins again,” officials say. “Inflow is needed to overcome the typical seasonal summer drop of about 2.3 feet.”
To see the full Utah drought report, click here.