Utah"s water shortage is becoming dire -Governor

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread

Governor: Utah needs to conserve more water

Mon, Aug 13, 2001 00:00:00

The Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY - Gov. Mike Leavitt said Utah"s water shortage is becoming dire and called for immediate conservation from the state"s residents.

"Save water and pray for rain," he said during a Saturday news conference.

After hearing reports Saturday about the drought in northern Utah, the governor ordered an immediate campaign to encourage conservation during the next three months and directed all state agencies to not water lawns from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Kathleen Clarke, the state drought coordinator, said no municipal water shortages are expected this year.

However, farmers are suffering.

Agriculture has been the industry hit hardest by drought conditions, coupled with a late June frost and infestations of Mormon crickets and grasshoppers. Some farmers have seen their production drop more than 40 percent, qualifying them for federal funding assistance.

Larry Anderson, director of the Division of Water Resources, said the extended weather forecast for the next three months calls for warmer and drier than average weather.

Though it is too early for a long-term precipitation prediction for early 2002, weather forecasters are saying Utah can expect warmer than normal temperatures during that period.

"We need a nice, wet fall and winter so we can have a good runoff," he said. "But I am not optimistic that those are going to occur. We need to conserve our water resources."

Water managers have been encouraged by public response to voluntary water conservation measures this year. Most reported savings of 20 percent to 25 percent.

But they say more needs to be done.

Northern Utah reservoirs such as Porcupine, Newton, Hyrum, Woodruff Creek and Woodruff Narrows are expected to be nearly drained this year.


-- Martin Thompson (mthom1927@aol.com), August 13, 2001

Moderation questions? read the FAQ