The Utah drought is nothing to laugh at, but experts say it could be worse

Sep 2, 2021, 5:33 PM | Updated: 5:52 pm

great salt lake drought utah...

Pink water washes over a salt crust on May 4, 2021, along the receding edge of the Great Salt Lake. The lake has been shrinking for years, and a drought gripping the American West could make this year the worst yet. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

(AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)

SALT LAKE CITY — Make no mistake. The current drought that the state of Utah is experiencing is a difficult situation.  Reservoirs are shrinking, as is the Great Salt Lake. And while not the most important thing, lawns that are typically a lush green are a little more yellow.

And with just four weeks left in the typical water year (or the nine months of the year when water typically collects on the ground and in bodies of water) Utah is in a less-than-ideal situation.

However, as the old adage goes, things could always be worse.

1930s drought in Utah

Things were much worse back in the 1930s, according to KSL-TV meteorologist Grant Weyman. Utah saw below-average precipitation every year in the decade of the 1930s.

“Certainly, standing as the most devastating time in terms of drought,” he said. “(And) not (just) for us, but for many states back in that time.”

However, Weyman said that Utah’s current drought is comparable to what the state saw nearly 100 years ago. 

“This is certainly been a dry year so far,” he said.

Utah would be in an even worse situation if not for the month of August. According to Weyman, Salt Lake City received almost four times as much rain during August as it usually does. 

The average amount of precipitation in Salt Lake City during the month of August is .58 inches. Last month, Salt Lake City received 2.29 inches of rain. According to Weyman, it was the wettest August in 38 years. 

Yet despite all the rain last month, it will take a couple more storms before the end of the month to prevent this water year from going down in Utah history as one of the top 10 worst.

Read more:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Little Cottonwood Canyon is seen covered in snow, Friday, March 24, 2023 during avalanche mitigatio...

Peter Johnston

Salt Lake County Mayor: Little Cottonwood gondola is bad for the Olympics

The Little Cottonwood Canyon gondola maybe not exists by the time the 2034 Olympics happen, but Mayor Jenny Wilson has concerns.

5 minutes ago

a cart full of toys for operation santa's stash...

Karah Brackin

Dozens of Utah companies aim to bring Santa to thousands of families with Operation: Santa’s Stash

Flipping the calendar into December and the holiday season, finding ways to give and be a blessing to someone else is top of mind.

3 hours ago

old state flag shown, a group wants to repeal the new utah flag...

Olivia Calvert

One group would like to see if Utah voters want to keep the new flag

If successful, the proposed bill to remove the new Utah flag and restore the former one will appear on the November 2024 ballot.

5 hours ago

The Draper City Fire Battalion Chief's vehicle is parked outside Draper City Hall in Draper. a Carb...

Eric Cabrera

Carbon monoxide scare at Draper school

The American Preparatory Academy in Draper City had a carbon monoxide scare Wednesday. No one needed extensive treatment.

20 hours ago

a dog plays in the snow with its owner, dogs need extra protection in winter...

Emma Keddington

Winter protection for your dog: ‘Treat your dog like you’re treating yourself’

If you have a dog, you should make sure they have the same amount of winter protection you'd give yourself.

22 hours ago

a woman covers her face...

Associated Press

Study says the US is ill-prepared to ensure housing for the growing number of older people

The 58-year-old lost his job as a machine operator, then his home, and he was living in his truck when he was diagnosed with stage 2 lung cancer.

23 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

The Utah drought is nothing to laugh at, but experts say it could be worse