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Utah's drought conditions worsen ahead of Pioneer Day holiday

Utah drought
Posted at 11:09 AM, Jul 21, 2021
and last updated 2021-07-21 13:12:40-04

SALT LAKE CITY — A day after the Great Salt Lake tied its all-time record low water level, Utah's new drought report painted a dire picture of the state's current status.

WATCH: Great Salt Lake drops to record-tying historic low

Utah's reservoir current storage level dropped to 56%, a drop of 2% compared to a week ago. According to the the report, 28 of the state's 42 reservoirs are below 55% of capacity. Reservoir storage is vital to prevent water shortages.

In addition, 76 of Utah's 97 streams are flowing below normal, while 15 streams are at their lowest levels ever recorded, the Division of Water Resources reports.

To get Utah back to "average" for the year, the state needs about 14.5 inches of rain, 10 inches of which would be just to cancel the current deficit. Unfortunately, Utah has seen 56% of the precipitation it receives in a normal water year.

READ: Boat ramps across Utah closed or restricted due to drought

The numbers are a stark reminder that Utah continues to struggle in the middle of an historic drought, even as residents get set to celebrate Pioneer Day.

“The Pioneer Day weekend is traditionally one of Utah’s busiest outdoor recreation periods. With low reservoir levels, it’s essential for families heading to our lakes and reservoirs to take extra precautions before visiting and while playing,” said Utah Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Brian Steed.