Weather forecasts show more snow, adding to an already white winter. And as the snow pack gets deeper, Utahns get relief from the drought. So why aren’t experts celebrating?
Hydro scientists measure every inch of snow during the Winter, carefully calculating how many gallons of water it produces in the Spring. One of the state’s top water bosses is Todd Adams, Deputy Director of the Utah Division of water resources.
“For today, at this point in time, we’re doing above average.”
Cautious optimism is the word of the day. Adams and his team are responsible for making sure Utah’s fast-growing population has enough water for needs as important as watering crops, to as unimportant as watering lawns. ABC4.com put the question to him: does the heavy snowfall of the Winter of 2018-2019 bring the end of Utah’s water woes? The answer is – if you have to ask, you don’t know how severe Utah’s drought has been.
“I don’t think people realize the type of drought or water supply that we’re in,” says Adams. “They just turn the faucet on, and the water comes out.”
But not for long, unless a couple of things happen:
One – wetter winters.
“We probably need to stack a few of those water years on top of one another,” says Adams, “to be able to get back into really good shape, to overcome the twenty years of drought that we’ve been in.”
Two – better conservation.
“Whether we’re wet or dry,” Adams says, “we need to continue to be water wise and conserve water and be efficient and effective with the water use that we have.”