Even with a decent start to the new water year last week, Todd Adams from the Utah Division of Water Resources says it’s time for Northern Utah residents to conserve by shutting down their automatic sprinkler systems now. But, he says, last month’s moisture was very helpful.
“It’s kind of strange because we ended up about somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of normal statewide based on our precipitation. A lot of that came in the last part of September which has helped us going into next year,” says Adams.
He is the assistant director of the state division. He says reservoir storage capacity around the state is only 40 to 50 percent of normal.
“What does help us though is getting this early moisture because that goes to help fill the soil profile and get the moisture level up in the soil which will help the runoff be a little more efficient,” says Adams.
He says water conservation is also becoming a significant factor in water totals. He points to an 18 percent reduction in per capita water use by Utahns between 2000 and 2010. He says more recent year to year tracking of 18 municipalities shows the ethic of conservation is continuing. In the meantime, he says, “Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow.”
The federal government shutdown, according to Adams, is preventing access to the most recent rain and snowfall numbers from the US Geological Survey and NOAA. He says water use reports to the state from local municipalities are not due until the end of the year and are usually made public by mid-February.