UTAH DROUGHT

Gov. Cox issues another emergency drought order for Utah

Apr 21, 2022, 6:52 PM | Updated: May 12, 2022, 8:47 am

Colorado River Basin...

FILE: Low water levels at Lake Powell, December 18, 2021. (Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

(Kristin Murphy, Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Utahns are being told to brace themselves for another potentially drought year.  Governor Spencer Cox issued another emergency drought declaration for Utah for the second year in a row.

Despite recent storms, and future ones, Cox said the state didn’t get enough snow in the mountains to make up from last year’s severe drought.  However, he said Utahns drastically reduced the amount of water they were giving their lawns in 2021, which saved billions of gallons.

Utah emergency drought

During his monthly press conference, Cox said, “Last summer, I asked Utahns to pray for rain, which helped, but we’re certainly not relying solely on deity to solve our problems.”

Cox said the state has been in a drought for the past 10 years. And that the snowpack is roughly 25 percent lower than it would normally be.  Most of the streams water officials have measured are running at below normal. Over 93 percent of the state is in “severe drought” or worse.

“Right now, our statewide reservoir storage is at about 59 percent of capacity,” Cox said.

In 2021, some conservancy districts turned off their secondary water early. And some small towns had to bring in drinking water by truck.  Utah Division of Water Resources Drought Coordinator Laura Haskell said most of the state’s water is used inside homes, so cutting back on lawn watering and waiting until dishwashers and washing machines are full can help conserve a lot. 

Could we run out of drinking water?

“There aren’t areas that I’m aware of, right now, that are going to run out of drinking water,” Haskell said.  “That is something that, especially with the drought response committee, it is at the top of the list of priorities.”

Haskell said some cities may have to find creative ways to bring in more water. However, the emergency drought declaration can allow the state to look at ways to redistribute more to areas that are in trouble.  Plus, it allows the state to bring more water out of the ground.

She said, “The state engineer can authorize funds for drilling emergency wells.”

We want to hear from you.

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

Utah Drought

FILE: Joana Abeel holds her daughter, Penelope Abeel, at the Draper City Splash Pad during a heat w...

Alexandrea Bonillla and Simone Seikaly

Above-normal temperatures expected for Utah summer

Summer weather predictions point to a La Niña weather pattern which will bring warm temperatures and dry conditions to Utah.

2 days ago

High amounts of spring runoff cause swelling of rivers across the state....

Adam Small

Spring runoff causes fast-moving rivers, officials urge caution

Spring runoff is once again in full effect and Utah's rivers, streams and creeks are moving high and fast.

3 days ago

Utah's water supply is doing well. Promontory Point during an EcoFlight around the Great Salt Lake....

Adam Small

Salt Lake having very dry April, but Utah’s water supply is still in top-notch shape

Utah's water supply is growing but Salt Lake City received a dry start to April. Utah might have something to worry about if May is dry.

5 days ago

an aerial photo shows the great salt lake, water level outlook is looking good for the lake...

Adam Small

The Great Salt Lake has a chance to be healthy again for the first time in over a decade

The water level in the Great Salt Lake is 1.5 feet from the tail-end of its healthy range of 4,196 to 4,200 feet.

7 days ago

Sprinkler goes off, wondering when to turn on sprinklers?...

Adam Small

Don’t turn on the sprinklers just yet, expert says

Wondering when to turn on sprinklers now that we've been having warmer weather? Follow these guidelines to keep your lawn alive while still conserving water.

10 days ago

Warm weather will all for some of the Utah snowpack to begin melting off this weekend....

Adam Small

Utah temperatures warming up, strong snowpack set to start melting

Temperatures in Utah are going to get much warmer over the next few days, allowing for the snowpack we've accumulated to start melting off.

14 days ago

Sponsored Articles

a doctor putting her hand on the chest of her patient...

Intermountain Health

Intermountain nurse-midwives launch new gynecology access clinic

An access clinic launched by Intermountain nurse-midwives provides women with comprehensive gynecology care.

Young couple hugging while a realtor in a suit hands them keys in a new home...

Utah Association of Realtors

Buying a home this spring? Avoid these 5 costly pitfalls

By avoiding these pitfalls when buying a home this spring, you can ensure your investment will be long-lasting and secure.

a person dressed up as a nordic viking in a dragon boat resembling the bear lake monster...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

The Legend of the Bear Lake Monster

The Bear Lake monster has captivated people in the region for centuries, with tales that range from the believable to the bizarre.

...

Live Nation Concerts

All the artists coming to Utah First Credit Union Amphitheatre (formerly USANA Amp) this summer

Summer concerts are more than just entertainment; they’re a celebration of life, love, and connection.

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

Gov. Cox issues another emergency drought order for Utah