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Utah snowpack back to average levels after early January storms

Rockport Reservoir in Summit County, Jan. 13, 2024.
Rockport State Park
Rockport Reservoir in Summit County, Jan. 13, 2024.

After a slow start to winter, Utah’s snowpack is now at healthy levels.

Laura Haskell, drought coordinator for the Utah Department of Natural Resources, said the state’s snowpack is now sitting at normal levels thanks to storms in early January.

“The conditions do vary a little throughout the state,” Haskell said. “We’re doing better in the north, we’ve gotten more snow up there than we have down south, they’re struggling a little bit with their water accumulation. Almost 95% of our water supply statewide comes from snowpack, so it’s very important that we get this water now that we can store and then it melts off and goes into our reservoirs for the summer months.”

Local reservoirs are at comfortable levels as well. As of Jan. 24, Deer Creek is over 95% full, with Jordanelle at 80% and Rockport at 77%.

Haskell said her department is already preparing for runoff season come spring.

“There are models that can estimate what they think the runoff might be for spring, and they will keep an eye on those,” she said. “As it gets closer, if they feel that they need to let a little bit of water out of reservoirs to make sure that they don’t overfill in the spring with the runoff, then they’ll go ahead and do that.”

She encourages Utahns to always think about conservation.

“We are one of the driest states in the nation, so it is always important whether we’re in drought or not, to be aware of our water use,” Haskell said.

Learn more about saving water at home at slowtheflow.org.