SOUTHERN UTAH NEWS: Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Kane, Piute, San Juan, Washington, and Wayne counties

Washington Co. staying afloat and out of a drought this summer, thanks to reservoirs

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HURRICANE, Utah (ABC4) – Washington County Conservancy District is seeing a lot less runoff than they’ve seen in the past, but officials say reservoirs are keeping the county afloat and out of a drought.

Reservoirs, like the one at Sand Hollow State Park, are doing fairly well (with it being at 90% capacity) but officials say it’s important to conserve water as we head into the summer.

“We don’t foresee any water shortages or rationing this summer because of the water we have in the reservoirs,” says Zachary Renstrom, the general manager for Washington Co. Conservancy District.

But Renstrom says Gunlock Reservoir is only about 55% full, and with hardly any rain the past two years, the soil in Washington County is very dry, and it soaked up most of the early snow melt.

“Even though we did get a 60% snow pack this year, we’re not seeing like a 60% runoff. We’re actually seeing a lot less because those soils are so dry from what happened last summer, without a monsoonal season,” says Renstrom.

This is why Renstrom says it’s still important to save water.

He says officials are also in the process of adding a reservoir in Toquerville to provide more water security for residents. He expects permits to begin building to be finalized by the fall.

“We’re very excited for Toquer Reservoir. It has been in the planning phases for over the last 20 years now,” says Renstrom.

Renstrom says it will be about the size of Ivins Reservoir. He says water will be stored, but it will also have the ability to seep into the soil and recharge the ground aquafer in that area.

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