Water released from reservoirs in preparation for spring runoff

Apr 7, 2023, 3:00 PM

Record breaking snow to bring large amounts of runoff....

Snow in Big Cottonwood Canyon is pictured on Sunday, Dec. 4, 2022. (Photo credit: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

(Photo credit: Scott G Winterton/Deseret News)

SALT LAKE CITY — Large amounts of spring runoff, from record-breaking snow, is a big concern for certain areas in the state. 

Scott Paxman, General Manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, joined Dave and Dujanovic to discuss the expected flooding areas and the preparation taking place. 

Paxman said Weber Basin Water Conservancy District began preparing for runoff back in February by releasing water from the reservoirs.

Early preparation is a must due to areas like Ben Lomond Mountain, totaling over 80 inches of snow-water equivalent. 

“We’ve released almost all the water that we have held in Pine View [reservoir],” said Paxman. “Getting ready for those peak flows to hit, and limit the impact in low Pine View. And we’re doing that on every reservoir we operate.”

He also said that adding reservoirs in the future may be a good idea. 

“You know years like this year, I would propose we add another reservoir or two so we can capture these really high-yield years and help us span through more of the drought years we’re anticipating as well.”

North Branch in the Ogden Valley will most likely experience intense runoff as temperatures rise. 

Paxman explained that as the snowpack varies from district to district, different amounts of water will be released. 

“The Provo has a lot more reservoir compacity than we do on the Weber or Ogden. So they got Strawberry Reservoir and Jordanelle Reservoir that can catch a lot of water,” he said. 

Key flooding areas according to Paxman are East Canyon Creek, North Fork and South Fork of Odgen River, Causey Reservoir, Lower Ogden Canyon, and Lower Weber Canyon.

More on water runoff this spring:

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Water released from reservoirs in preparation for spring runoff