When will Deer Creek, Jordanelle reservoirs reach capacity this spring?

May 10, 2023, 8:57 AM

(Chopper 5)...

(Chopper 5)

(Chopper 5)

PROVO CANYON, Utah — It’s a tricky spring for managing Utah’s reservoir levels in order to prevent flooding while also storing water for later.

“We had no idea in October we’d have this kind of a winter,” said Gene Shawcroft, general manager of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.

Shawcroft described it as a delicate balancing act of making sure reservoirs have enough room for the runoff from record-breaking snow, but also end up full of water that can be used during the hot days of summer and during future years.

“What makes it tricky this year is the huge amount of snow that we have,” he said. “The other thing is we don’t have any idea what the temperatures are going to be more than about five to six days out.”

When it comes to Deer Creek and Jordanelle reservoirs, Shawcroft said both reservoirs are now in the process of filling. The goal is to have Deer Creek reach about 95% of capacity first and then catch the rest of the runoff in Jordanelle.

“The fuller we can keep Jordanelle, the more insurance policy we have that we can make our deliveries for the next three to five years,” Shawcroft said.

If done correctly, both reservoirs will reach capacity sometime in June just as the snowmelt comes to an end, Shawcroft explained. That scenario makes it so there would be no need to open the spillways on the dams.

He said managing runoff takes day-to-day management and adjustments to the reservoirs. If they are filled too early, then water will need to be released. But if it gets too late in the season, there might not be enough snowmelt remaining to fill them.

In April, the water district started diverting water coming out of Deer Creek Reservoir to the Great Salt Lake.

The 50 million gallons of water being released every day travels from Provo Canyon to Point of the Mountain, where it can flow to the Jordan River and eventually to the Great Salt Lake.

The water release has two goals: prevent flooding in the Provo River and benefit the Great Salt Lake.



We want to hear from you.

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

Utah Flood Watch

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

Esme Sanchez Estevez

Spring runoff concerns in Salt Lake County

Kade Moncur, Director of Public Works Engineering with Salt Lake County talk through the recent spring runoff concerns with resources to be use this summer.

5 days ago

Deer Creek Reservoir in Wasatch County pictured....

Allessandra Harris Gurr

Average Utah reservoir level 30% higher than last year

The average reservoir in Utah is at 88% capacity or 30% higher than last year.

13 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.

29 days ago

Panguitch Lake...

Kennedy Camarena

Panguitch City evacuation notice lifted as dam damage control continues

With mitigation efforts underway, evacuation notice has been lifted for Panguitch Lake and the surrounding area.

1 month 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.

1 month ago

Water releases are being conducted at Panguitch Lake dam in order to prevent a big crack from from ...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

‘It looks a lot better than it did,’ officials say of Panguitch Lake dam situation

Utah engineers say there are indications the damage found at the Panguitch Lake dam on Monday may not be as severe as initially feared.

1 month 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.

When will Deer Creek, Jordanelle reservoirs reach capacity this spring?