BY TOM BUSSELBERG
LAYTON — The cold, bitter winter might leave you aching for sunshine and blue skies, but water experts are encouraging everyone not to get too comfortable.
“We want conservation in the biggest way,” said Tage Flint, the manager of Weber Basin Water Conservation District on Tuesday afternoon.
Flint spoke to The Clipper following a day of precipitation and wind that he said “beats having nothing at all.”
Either way, heavy mountain snows will likely be strangers to the region until fall.
“It’s tough to get a lot (of snow pack) added this time of year,” Flint said. “Mostly it doesn’t accumulate.”
Snow pack levels were at 60 percent of normal, overall, for the Uinta and Wasatch Mountains that feed into Weber Basin’s reservoirs, he said.
Only the smallest of Weber Basin’s reservoirs are projected to fill, Flint said.
Otherwise, Pineview is projected to reach 78 percent of capacity, Willard Bay 72 percent, and East Canyon 70 percent.
“Because we like to store two years of water at all times,” he said, it’s a concern that projections indicate “we’re not anywhere near that.”
As of now, last year was a bit better in terms of precipitation, Flint said, “but not by much.”
That’s one reason he’s emphasizing a need for conservation by all users.
That includes not watering during restricted times, which remain 10 a.m. until 6 p.m. daily.
“We really are asking for conscientious use of water this year,” he said. “We know we’re going to be short. We are going to watch the weather closely for the next 40 days.”
Near the end of May, Weber Basin will announce allocation to all of its irrigation customers, or all water not used for drinking.
Irrigation water covers anything from farm irrigation to irrigation water used by secondary water systems.
“If things have continued as trending so far, we may very well announce there will not be a full allocation of irrigation water., he said. “We want to give every chance we have not to have to do that.”
Secondary lines will be ready to deliver water for outside use by April 19, Flint added.
Meanwhile, Kirk Schmalz, Davis County Public Works director, i not predicting flood problems.
“We’re not seeing any high (water) flows that we would normally see in a regular spring,” he said.
His department oversees all flood channels throughout the county. Usually, the highest flows are seen from late April to early June.
“I don’t think there will be anything robust,” Schmalz said in terms of water flow. He’s heard predictions that flows will average about 50 percent of normal this year.
There were no ill effects from Tuesday’s storm to stream beds, he added.