Utah’s snowpack still below necessary water levels for the year

Mar 24, 2022, 8:30 AM | Updated: 1:29 pm
utah water supply emigration creek...
Emigration Creek flows in Rotary Glen Park in Salt Lake City on Tuesday, Feb. 9, 2021. With a shallow snowpack, water runoff is expected to be less than normal this year. Photo: Kristin Murphy, Deseret News

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s snowpack is below levels typical for this time of year. Decreasing snowpack levels are leading to concerns over low water levels in reservoirs. The snowfall from October of last year onward has been sporadic, according to state water officials. 

“It’s really been a rollercoaster where we had good months like October and December were great months, but then November and February were really horrible,” said Drought Coordinator Laura Haskell with the Utah Division of Water Resources.

Utah’s snowpack

As of Wednesday, March 23, the snowpack in most places in Utah is below typical levels. The Wasatch Front all the way north to the Idaho border and parts of southcentral Utah has the lowest snowpack levels in the state.

“Our snowpack is very important,” Haskell said. “It’s about 95% of our water and we’re just under 12 inches of water in our snowpack.”

She also said water levels are 16 inches during a typical year.

With levels as low as they are, there is concern over the effect climate change had on the snowpack.

“In all of the modeling and things that we do in our office, we have taken into account climate change and how things are changing,” Haskell said.

Utah’s changing population size is also a factor she says her department takes into account when addressing water issues.

With a decreased snowpack in parts of the state, Haskell said some providers are doing what they can to preserve water in places where levels are below the norm.

“We have had some water providers who have already said they are going to have restrictions this summer because they know that their water supply is going to be down,” she said.

Bills addressing water shortage

Even though the situation appears dire, all is not lost. This year’s legislative session saw more bills addressing water issues than before. Haskell acknowledges the benefit of those bills.

“It was great news,” she said. “And there was funding to go with that so that things can really be done.”

While lawmakers work to save the Great Salt Lake and find ways of saving water through conservation efforts and infrastructure design, Haskell says it’s time for Utahns to start thinking differently about water use. 

“As our population grows, we can’t keep using water the same way we were when there weren’t as many people here,” she said.

Haskell recommends visiting slowtheflow.org for information on water conservation tips, including a lawn watering guide, and rebate programs people can take advantage of. 

Read more:


Today’s Top Stories


Ogden police car...
Mark Jones

Ogden-Weber Technical College evacuated due to bomb threat; no bomb found

Weber County emergency personnel responded to the Ogden-Weber Technical College Wednesday afternoon for a report of bomb threat. After a search of the campus, no device was found.
1 day ago
Black Rifle Coffee...
Lindsay Aerts

Black Rifle Coffee, Dallas Cowboys take heat for timing of business partnership

The timing of a business partnership between Utah-based Black Rifle Coffee and the Dallas Cowboys has generated a lot of emotions on social media.
1 day ago
south jordan police...
Mark Jones

Two children hurt in auto-pedestrian collision in South Jordan

South Jordan police say two children are in critical condition after a auto-pedestrian collision Wednesday. Both children were taken to Primary Children's Hospital.
1 day ago
Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North S...
Lindsay Aerts

Stericycle can no longer burn medical waste in SLC, but the fight to stop toxic pollutants may not be over

Local environmental groups are taking a victory lap now that a medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake belonging to Stericycle, has been shut down.
1 day ago
Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained. Photo Credit: Utah Fire Info....
Devin Oldroyd

Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained, Utah Fire Info says

Utah Fire Info says the Deuel Creek Fire is now 100% contained after days of firefighters combating the blaze.
1 day ago
air conditioner...
Carlos Artiles

What if your air conditioner breaks down during the summer months?

If your air conditioner breaks down during the summer, you could be on a wait list of a few weeks before it could be fixed or replaced.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Tax Harassment...
Jordan Wilcox

The best strategies for dealing with IRS tax harassment | You have options!

Learn how to deal with IRS tax harassment. This guide will teach you how to stop IRS phone calls and letters, and how to handle an IRS audit.
spend a day at Bear Lake...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

You’ll love spending the day at Bear Lake | How to spend a day at Bear Lake

Bear Lake is a place that needs to be experienced. Spend a day at Bear Lake.
Curb Appeal...
Price's Guaranteed Doors

How to have the best of both worlds for your house | Home security and curb appeal

Protect your home and improve its curb appeal with the latest security solutions like beautiful garage doors and increased security systems.
Prescription opioids can be disposed of during National Prescription Take Back Day...
Know Your Script

Prescription opioid misuse | How to protect your family from the opioid epidemic

Studies have shown that prescription opioid misuse has increased since COVID-19. So what do you need to know about these opioids?
national heart month...
Intermountain Healthcare

National Heart Month: 5 Lifestyle Changes to Make Today to Keep You Heart Healthy

Heart disease is the leading cause of death for both men and women. One person dies every 36 seconds in the United States from cardiovascular disease
Joseph Smith Memorial Building...
Temple Square

The Joseph Smith Memorial Building is an icon of Salt Lake City | Why hosting an event at this beautiful location will make you a hero this year

Here's why hosting an event at the iconic Joseph Smith Memorial Building in downtown Salt Lake City will make you a hero this year.
Utah’s snowpack still below necessary water levels for the year