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Another reservoir goes dry as Utah's drought emergency continues

Upper Enterprise Reservoir .jpg
Posted at 10:01 AM, Aug 11, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-11 14:53:30-04

SALT LAKE CITY  — Another reservoir has gone dry as Utah's drought emergency continues.

The Utah Department of Natural Resources said Wednesday that Upper Enterprise in Washington County was at 0% capacity. It joins the Gunnison Reservoir in running out of water. Settlement Creek, Yuba, Steinaker and Piute reservoirs were all at 10% capacity and expected to continue dropping. The department said 32 of Utah's 42 largest reservoirs were at or below 55% of capacity.

Reservoir map August 11, 2021

"To get streams running at healthy levels while filling reservoirs, Utah needs late summer and early fall storms to return soil moisture levels to normal, which will help snowpack runoff make it to streams and reservoirs rather than get absorbed by dry soils. The state also needs an above-average snowpack to refill reservoirs," the agency said in its weekly report on the drought situation.

If the drought continued into next year, the Utah Department of Natural Resources director told FOX 13 that next year could bring about water rationing.

The Great Salt Lake on Wednesday had dropped to an even lower level. It is now listed at 4,191.1 elevation feet. Climate change, the mega drought and water diversion have impacted the massive water body which helps generate snowpack for Utah's mountains.

But there are positive signs in the drought emergency. Local water districts have reported significant drop-offs in water usage. Utahns are following the guidance of water managers who have asked for conservation, including significant cuts to outdoor lawn watering. It has helped extend the state's water supply this year.