Dry winter in southern Utah causes water shortage


ST. GEORGE (News4Utah) – A dry winter in Southern Utah is sounding alarm bells for those focused on water conservancy and experts at the Washington County Water Conservancy District is saying this year is unprecedented.

“We have to go back to the old timers to even conceive of a year that’s been this bad,” said Corey Cram the Associate General Manager of the District.

Cram is referring to this years snow pack which now sits at eight percent of normal.

“We depend upon the Virgin River for the life blood of our community – water is what it’s all based on. And that water supply is based on what happens in the winter time. We collect that water in the spring time when the snow melts, we put it in our reservoirs and that’s our water supply for the future, and right now our water supply is looking very very bleak,” said Cram.

Water users in Washington County will likely live off reservoir storage throughout 2018.

“And that would be a disaster if it were not for the storage we have in our reservoirs, but one year like this effects the following year and the following year,” said Cram.

Despite the storage, the District and Cram is requesting everyone in Washington County to be efficient with their use — from laundry, toilet flushing, and especially sprinklers.

“There’s really no need to be putting water our on our lawns. People that think all I have to do is go to the tap and turn on the water and it will always be there and that’s our job is to make sure that happens, but people need to recognize that that water comes from someplace, and we have to conserve that water,” said Cram.

Sand Hollow Reservoir is currently 93 percent full and Quail Creek Reservoir is 67 percent full. They will be able to get Washington County through 2018.

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