UTAH DROUGHT

Summit County town asking for water shipments, Echo Reservoir dropping

Jul 10, 2021, 10:49 AM | Updated: 11:11 am
utah reservoirs Echo water drought...
Low water levels are pictured in Echo Reservoir north of Coalville on Thursday, May 6, 2021. Officials say levels have dropped significantly since then. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

ECHO, Utah —  Severe drought conditions continue across Utah, but people in parts of Summit County say they’re being hit especially hard.  A boat ramp was closed because of low water levels and officials in the town of Echo say that, though they’re not completely dry yet, they’ve reached a critically low level.

Kory Staples with Echo Mutual Water Company said their water supplies have dropped so low, they’re working on a “limited supply” basis.  They’re pleading with people to cut water use anywhere they can, knowing that they won’t be able to sustain the kind of water use they’re seeing.

RELATED:  Deer Creek State Park boat ramp to close for maintenance

“Your outside watering, try to keep it limited. Try not to water livestock,” Staples said.

Echo is asking for water help

Things have gotten so bad, Staples said they’re asking other towns to send shipments of water by fire trucks.  They’re currently speaking with the Utah Division of Water Resources to help them fill their storage units.

The city of Henefer has stepped up to help.

“We’re seeing what we can work out and seeing what they can let us have,” Staples said. ” Even a load or two a day, if they can do that, is probably going to help maintain it, a little bit, for us.”

RELATED: Utah drought conditions could affect boaters this year

The town of Echo receives its water from six different streams. It is not connected to the Echo Reservoir, which is already seeing a dramatic decline in water levels.  Officials said the reservoir was at 46% capacity two months ago, but levels have taken a big drop since then.

“The current level for Echo [Reservoir] that I have for Echo State Park is at 30 percent,” said Utah State Parks Spokesman Devan Chavez.

Ramp closed ahead of original plan to do so

Park officials had to close their boat ramp one month ahead of a scheduled closing.  Their original plan was to close the ramp in  August for a major construction project.  However, Chavez said taht right now there’s a big drop between the end of the ramp and the water. 

“If you did try to launch a vessel from that ramp, your axles are going to get damaged, high-centered and you may need to be towed out,” Chavez said.  “So, that ramp is closed.”

Chavez said ramp closures are becoming more common across Utah. He recommends checking the state’s boat ramp conditions website before hitting the road with a boat in tow.

Other reading: 

Heart of Utah: Archery, Bigfoot, Dinosaurs and Yurts, Utah State Parks becoming crown jewels

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