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Utah rethinks water supplies

By Haley Smith | Posted - Jul 2nd, 2013 @ 12:20pm

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SALT LAKE CITY — June is generally the driest month of the year, but the water situation this year is even worse than normal.

Water levels for the month of June this year were approximately 10 percent of normal.

"June was a terrible month in terms of water supply," hydrologist Randall Julander said. "Our snow packs melted in May and we had no stream flow."

The stream level for the month of June was 5-25 percent of normal, with the basins running at 0-10 percent of normal. The storage level is equally depleted, with the level approximately 40 percent of normal.

"It could be a long, bad summer," Julander said. "(With) no water coming down the stream that means we had to pull it all from reservoir storage, so our storage is depleting very quickly."

Julander asked that people stop washing cars in the driveway and cut back on watering plants. He said any way to conserve water this year will help the streams and rivers come up to normal levels.

Every drop we save today is one that we will be able to use later.

–Randall Julander

"Every drop we save today is one that we will be able to use later," Julander said.

Gov. Gary Herbert has scheduled a series of community forums on the competition over Utah's water supplies.

The first hearing is set for July 9 in Richfield.

The Republican governor has assembled a panel of water experts to gather public input about the use, development and conservation of water. He wants to know what people think about the competition for limited supplies and funding major projects.

Other public hearings are set for July 11 in Layton, July 16 in Price, July 18 in Provo, July 25 in St. George, Aug. 6 in Vernal, Aug. 13 in Salt Lake City and Aug. 15 in Logan.

Contributing: Associated Press

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