SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) – The latest drought monitor shows a significant portion of the state is out of drought status following last week’s final winter storm that pushed the state’s snow water equivalent to a record high of 30 inches.
In the latest drought monitor map, just over 30% of Utah is considered to be out of drought status, including the Wasatch Front. The last time at least 30% of the state was listed as having no drought was in October 2019, when the percentage was significantly higher, at 45%.
The latest report comes as isolated areas throughout the Wasatch Front including Sugar House, Kaysville, and Ogden are facing floods. On Thursday, Salt Lake County Mayor Jenny Wilson issued a State of Emergency as volunteers and emergency management crews continue to divert the runoffs.
Much of the state is still considered to be in drought, despite the record-breaking winter. 70% of the state is still listed as “abnormally dry” with areas in those spots still in a “moderate” to “severe” drought status. For example, in the north, Tooele County is still shown to have areas of severe drought with the majority of the county in abnormally dry conditions. Southwest Utah is still completely under drought conditions with the majority of Garfield and Kane counties still in “moderate” drought.
While it’s certainly exciting to see the progress Utah has made in combating its ongoing drought conditions, things can change for the worse quickly.
After it was reported 45% of the state was reported out of the drought in October 2019, as the summer months came, extreme and exceptional drought levels returned. By October 2020, 15% of the state was in exceptional drought – the worst level – and 87% of Utah was in an extreme drought.
After the incredible Utah winter this past season, it’s important to conserve the water the state received as much as possible in order to stay out of drought conditions. Utah residents and businesses are encouraged to make the most of the exceptional start to the water year by continuing to conserve water as much as possible.
Resources and guides on how to help conserve Utah water can be found on the Utah Division of Water Resources website.