ST. GEORGE – Washington County Water Conservancy District executives have made several recent operational changes to counteract an anticipated water deficit. The need arises due to insufficient snow levels in the state’s mountain regions.
According to the Natural Resources Conservation Service – an organization established by Congress in 1935 to serve as a conservation leader for all natural resources including water – snowpack levels are down an average of 21 percent throughout Utah. Areas that supply water to the Virgin River are down 25 percent.
“Fortunately we’ve taken proactive measures to mitigate potential consequences of annual snow shortfalls, but one can never be too prepared,” the District’s general manager, Ron Thompson, said.
Effective immediately, WCWCD has stopped releases from Kolob reservoir to the Sand Hollow and Quail Creek reservoirs. Sand Hollow, which holds 16.3 billion gallons, is currently at 80 percent capacity while Quail Creek, which holds 13 billion gallons, is at 60 percent capacity. It’s unlikely either reservoir will fill to capacity this year, according to Thompson.
“These reservoirs sustain life, literally,” Thompson said. “Their primary function is to provide the essential water supply we need, but there are other social, recreational, environmental and aesthetic benefits – all of which contribute to our local economy and quality of life.”
County residents are encouraged to comply with city watering ordinances and other conservation initiatives to alleviate water needs given current shortages.
Submitted by the Washington County Water Conservancy District.