Utah ended its water year on a dry spiral, with 100% of the state reaching drought condition.
“There just wasn’t any monsoonal moisture during the growing season,” the annual report by the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service said Tuesday.
Most reservoirs were below capacity. One, Gunnison Reservoir near Ephraim in Southern Utah, dried up completely.
As of Sept. 30, the last day of the water year, Weber County’s Pineview Reservoir stood at 43% of capacity. Last year’s total was 68%.
Causey Reservoir’s equivalent numbers were 33% this year and 55% in 2019.
Statewide precipitation was 30% of normal in September, the report said.
The annual total was 76%, but most of that came in the first half of the year.
The Bear River and Northeastern Uinta drainages led the state with 86% of normal precipitation.
The Weber and Ogden drainages totaled 74% and those in Provo-Jordan reached 73%.
Last year at this time, 55% of the state was in drought condition, according to the report, but the entire state is affected now.
Thirteen percent of the state is in exceptional drought, the worst level.
Under that condition, prevalent in Tooele and Beaver counties, widespread crop and pasture losses are possible and water shortages may result in emergencies, the federal agency said.
Soil moisture saturation fell to 33% by the end of July and later shrunk to 26%, a near record low condition, the report said.
Low soil moisture increases danger for wildfires, which have been evident in much of Utah this season.
According to Utah Fire Info, a consortium of firefighting agencies, eight large fires remained active in the state as of Tuesday.
On the season, more than 1,000 human-caused fires have been reported, as well as 319 of natural causes and 65 of unknown cause.