ECHO, Utah (ABC4) – This small community in Summit County, dependent upon mountain springs for water, is now grappling with what to do.
What do you do when your source of culinary water dries up?
In Echo, the solution has been to pay for more water and have it delivered by truck.
“I have never seen it this dry in 20 years. We have not ever run out of water unless we’ve had a water main break. It’s never been this dry,” said resident Kim Boss.
Echo is purchasing water from nearby towns like Henefer and having that water brought in by trucks.
At the nearby Echo Reservoir, water levels are noticeably low. Across the state, reservoirs are at 56 percent capacity. The visual of low water helps provide context for this drought, even though Echo doesn’t draw culinary water from that reservoir.
“This has never happened to Echo before,” said Candice Hasenyager, deputy director at Utah Division of Water Resources.
“They’ve never had to truck water in,” added Hasenyager.
Although Echo is small, she says it’s also a reminder of the dramatic consequences of the worst drought Utahns have seen in their lifetime. Echo’s story, she says, is the canary in the coal mine — a warning of what the future could look like if drought continues and water isn’t conserved.
“What will really impact people is when they do run into an issue–when it does stop flowing out of their tap,” said Hasenyager.
Most of Utah won’t face that problem, at least not this year. But if Utah doesn’t get 150 percent of normal snowpack this winter, she says drought issues will persist and certain communities in Utah could face similar scenarios come next year.