NewsUtah Drought


99% of Utah under extreme, severe drought

Posted at 5:52 PM, May 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-05-09 19:52:48-04

SALT LAKE CITY — The entire Beehive State is still going through a major drought.

As of Monday, 99 percent of Utah was at either "severe" or "extreme" drought levels.

Laura Haskell, the drought coordinator for the Utah Division of Water Resources, said this is something the state has dealt with for quite some time.

"Eight of the last 10 years have been drought," she said. "We've seen drought in the state somewhere."

This comes as Utah once again missed the mark when it comes to the expected snowpack during the winter.

"We had hoped to get a really good snowpack and we only got about 75% of the snowpack that we'd hoped for. That was average, so we didn't even get average," said Haskell.

Haskell spoke about the trickle-down effect of a below-average snowpack.

"We are in one of the driest states in the nation," she said. "We use the snowmelt and our stored water as our supply in the summer months, and so that's why our reservoirs are so critical."

The state's reservoirs are feeling the pinch as well.

According to the Utah Water Supply Outlook for this month, the reservoirs' storage is at just 58 percent. That is a 10-percent decrease from this time last year.

"It is really impactful on our use as humans, but also on the natural system, plants, animals. It's affecting everything," said Haskell. "Almost every economy is impacted in Utah from not very much water."

Not knowing what next year will bring, Haskell is urging people to be mindful of their water usage as we head into the summer months.

"It starts with outdoor restrictions, and then they move on and we have to have indoor watering restrictions. It just keeps getting more severe," she said.

Haskell told FOX 13 News her biggest concern is always the drinking water.

That's why she says it is so important to listen to your local water provider and make sure you are following their recommendations for their system.

Tips on how to conserve water here in Utah can be found at