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Front Page » June 5, 2014 » Carbon County News » Water source amounts differ from Carbon to Emery Counties
Published 486 days ago

Water source amounts differ from Carbon to Emery Counties

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While it is pretty obvious the area is in a drought, from most of the statistics coming out of the National Resource Conservation Service (NRCS), it appears the area is better off in terms of reservoir storage than last year.

However the exception to that is Scofield Reservoir, which stands presently at about 40 percent of capacity, whereas at this same time last year it was at 48 percent.

The other area reservoirs are all much over last year with Miller Flat over 100 percent of capacity.

Scofield is the water supply for the largest single group of people in the two county area, so it's low level could cause some considerable problems as the summer wears on.

Precipitation in thew general area in May was near average at 91 percent, which brings the seasonal accumulation (Oct-May) to 91 percent of average. Soil moisture is at 72 percent compared to 65 percent last year. Reservoir storage is at 68 percent of capacity, compared to 56 percent last year. The water availability index, a key factor, for the Price River is 12 percent while for Joe's Valley it is 56 percent.

Statewide current runoff at unregulated stream flow points, shows a strong north south gradient reflective of general snow patterns - dry in the south and closer to normal in the north. (most regulated stream flow is near normal reflecting reservoir releases.)

Rivers in northern Utah are still flowing strong but are starting to recede. In southern Utah - some flow points showed little if any snow melt runoff for the year. Most had short duration, low volumes, low peak flows and are fast approaching or are already at base flow conditions for the summer and fall. Snow packs are mostly melted out with only a few scattered remnants in isolated spots (mostly in northern Utah) left. Without substantial snow cover, stream flows will recede quickly.

May precipitation was below average statewide with many sites in the 50 to 80 percent range. Reservoir storage is 4 percent less than last year, near 71 percent of capacity across the state. Reservoir storage in some areas such as the San Pitch (22 percent of capacity), and the Enterprise area (10 percent) are very low.

The National Climate Prediction Center forecasts for Utah suggest warmer conditions for western Utah over the summer months and near normal in the rest of the state. They also forecast above normal summer precipitation over the entire state.

Based on all available water supply data, (reservoir storage, observed stream flow, climate forecasts, etc.) agriculture producers in northern Utah will have close to average conditions whereas in southern Utah the drought continues.

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