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Health, Science & Environment

Water Supply: Normal, For A Change

Judy Fahys/KUER
Water levels all around Utah are pretty normal this spring, after a string of several years of below-normal snowpack.

April 1 usually marks the time when Utah’s snow accumulation is at its height, and this year looks remarkably -- and happily -- typical.

“The good news,” says Randy Julander, snow survey supervisor for the federal Natural Resources Conservation Service, “is our current snowpacks are average -- double to triple what they were last year – which is a substantial improvement.”

His data from around the state show reservoir storage is good, about 57 percent of normal. That’s a little lower than last year, but likely to improve soon as the snow begins to melt.

“All of the lower-elevation stations are melting snow very quickly at this point,” he says, “and the mid- and the higher-elevation stations will start melting here in the next two weeks or so. We’ll start to see our streams rise, and our reservoirs will be going up very quickly.”

Julander says southern Utah residents enjoyed twice the average snowpack only a couple of months ago after a string of dry years, but now it’s closer to normal. The decline coincides with temperatures that were three-and-a-half degrees higher than normal last month, according to National Weather Service data.

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