BUSINESS + ECONOMY

Good news for the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s snowpack now 201% of normal

Apr 4, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: Jan 17, 2024, 1:30 pm

Utah's statewide average for snowpack is now 201% of normal, according to the Department of Natural...

FILE: People walk on the beach of the Great Salt Lake in Salt Lake City on Friday, March 17, 2023. Snow totals for the 2022/2023 winter season have given a boost to the levels of one of the world's largest hypersaline lakes. (Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

(Jeffrey D. Allred, Deseret News)

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake—and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late. All of the stories are available on the Great Salt Lake Collaborative website.

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah’s statewide average for snowpack is now 201% of normal, according to the Department of Natural Resources.

The latest round of storms pushed the statewide average over the 200% threshold. The boost in the snowpack is welcome news to a state that has suffered through years of drought and a shrinking Great Salt Lake.

“That does make me feel good,” Laura Haskell, the drought coordinator for Utah’s Division of Water Resources, told FOX 13 News on Monday. “We were hoping for a good year but no one anticipated this sort of a year…to have the whole state doing well, it’s great.”

The Great Salt Lake has already risen three feet in southern arm as a result of the good show and no part of the state is listed in exceptional drought, Haskell said. But it does not mean that the drought is over. Last year, Utah relied heavily on reservoirs in the drought. The spring runoff will help recharge those and help to boost the Great Salt Lake.

Conservation will still be important, Haskell said, to ensure an adequate water supply for the state. While flooding from the spring runoff is being anticipated, it will be nowhere near the catastrophic floods of 1983 in Utah. That is because of significant infrastructure changes since then.

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Good news for the Great Salt Lake, Utah’s snowpack now 201% of normal