You may be shoveling snow from your driveway or watching your rain gutters overflow with melting ice, but Utah could still fall short of water this year.
Although snow has fallen several times since Christmas Eve, people shouldn’t think adequate precipitation levels are certain.
That’s the cautionary word from Tage Flint, general manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District. That entity supplies culinary and secondary water to much of five counties, including Davis.
By Christmas, the state had received about 95 percent of normal precipitation levels, Flint said.
“It is looking a lot better. We needed a normal or above-normal snow pack this year to be able to fill our reservoirs,” he said. “They started so low.”
A few more storms on the way are more good news, he said on Wednesday morning, even as more snow was falling in parts of Davis County.
“The caution is always that we get about 70 percent of our snow after the first of the year. So we’re normal now but haven’t experienced the big turnouts yet,” Flint said.
He added that “a lot can happen between now and spring.”
The area has received about 25 percent of the snow it will need by winter’s end, Flint said.
“We need to get these (snow) patterns in once a week or more” to continue improving the overall water situation, he emphasized.
On Wednesday, reservoir levels studied by the district were varied. The Farmington Bay Causeway Bridge showed 158 percent of normal outflow; Pineview Reservoir was at 92 percent of normal; Hyrum Reservoir was at 91 percent of normal flow and Croyden in Morgan County was at 87 percent of normal.
Reservoirs are still far from full, however. Hyrum is at 73 percent of capacity, Willard Bay is at 66 percent of capacity, Pineview is at 39 percent of capacity, and Causey is 60 percent full.
Others in the Weber River Basin include Lost Creek at 68 percent, Echo at only 21 percent, East Canyon at 53 percent and Rockport at 46 percent.
Before the snow started to fly, reservoirs were about 50 percent full range. They’re designed to handle water for two years, meaning water users should be safe for another year even if precipitation levels turn out to be lower than normal.
Fortunately, even as population has continued to grow in the Weber Basin service area, conservation has also increased, evening out the use of water, Flint said.