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Despite Rain, Drought Continues

Despite Rain, Drought Continues

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Jed Boal ReportingIt's been very wet in recent days, but water storage for the summer is dismal--worse than last year.

In this sixth year of drought the Governor is calling on everyone to do even more to Slow the Flow. Spring is blooming across the state, mountains are snow-capped and it's as green as we've seen it in years. Streams are flowing, but we'll all have to save even more water.

Gov. Olene Walker: “Certainly a lot of people thought when the snow was falling, we're okay. Not so."

We shoveled snow all winter. And April has been a wet month, especially the past week. But March was miserable and the stream flows just aren't what they should be, so the reservoirs will continue to drop this summer."

Larry Anderson, Utah Division of Water Resources: “When we thought we had a great water supply March first and the drought was over, by April first much of that snowpack was gone, and it was obvious we were still in the drought."

The summer supply of water for the state is simply not enough to meet past water demand, which includes wasted water. But Utahns have saved--a three-percent reduction in 2001. Two years ago we saved another nine percent. Last year? Two percent.

Larry Anderson, Utah Division of Water Resources: “Don't over water your lawns. Don't water until May first. It rained yesterday."

Gov. Olene Walker: “It's not getting better. We're in critical condition. We need to start now to conserve."

The Governor signed an executive order for state agencies to cut water use. She also signed a law that requires water suppliers to have conservation plans. Water managers will have difficult decisions again this summer.

Tage Flint, Weber Basin Water Conservancy District: “Our drinking water in our cities is not affected. But we’ll have to take down some of the irrigation deliveries.”

Adequate conservation may prevent more drastic measures action such as mandatory restrictions.

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