Impact of microbursts on Utah drought, water supply

Posted at 9:54 PM, Jul 26, 2021

We've seen a series of thunderstorms throughout Utah that have led to microbursts, which can dump a large amount of rain in moments.

But do they make a difference in a drought, like the one the state is currently experiencing?

The Utah Division of Water Resources says every bit of moisture helps, but these summer storms aren't going to put much of a dent in the problem.

“We had really dry soils, and all the water that would have run off just soaked into the soil, so it definitely is an important part of our water supply,” said Candice Hasenyager, the division’s deputy director. “But snow is where we get all of our actual reservoir storage.”

The division says microbursts can also negatively impact water quality. The intensity at which they come in churns up rocks, soil and trees along the way, contaminating the water supply.