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Recent storms still not enough to overcome drought conditions

Posted at 1:58 PM, Mar 10, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-10 15:58:16-05

SALT LAKE CITY — Recent snowstorms have given skiers a reason to cheer, but the snowpack is still below the median for this time of year.

Almost 95 percent of Utah's water supply comes from snowpack, and above-average snowstorms are needed to refill reservoirs.

Utah still has approximately 25 days until the snowpacks usually peaks.

“The good news is that we have almost double the moisture in our soil compared to this time last year, which will improve runoff efficiency,” said Brian Steed, Executive Director of the Department of Natural Resources.

“The bad news is that reservoir storage is significantly lower than this time last year, with a statewide average of about 55% of capacity.”

One-third of Utah is under extreme drought conditions, with nearly the entire state considered to be in severe drought.

Twenty-eight of Utah’s largest 45 reservoirs are below 55% of available capacity. This time last year, reservoirs were about 65% of capacity. 

Of the 77 streams measured by the Utah Division of Water Resources, 48 are flowing below normal.