Snow, particularly in our state, is truly the lifeblood of our quality of life — and our economy. It makes up a majority of the water supply we receive for the year. Without it, we wouldn’t have enough stored to get through the hot summer months.
As is always the case, we entered last winter wondering, “How are we doing? How’s the snowpack? Are the reservoirs going to fill?”
Weber Basin Water Conservancy District provides water to a service area with a population quickly approaching 700,000 residents located in Davis, Weber, Morgan, Summit and part of Box Elder counties. The District is committed to protecting our existing water resources, using them wisely and providing for the future.
Our district delivers over 74 billion gallons of water a year and have granted over $600,000 in water conservation rebates. We performed over 20,000 water quality tests in 2019. The value of the facilities we manage has been estimated at $3.7 billion.
In our area, my colleagues and I are grateful each day for the foresight of water managers that preceded us into the early part of the last century. With the best information available, they planned for future water needs and oversaw the construction of storage reservoirs we manage today, including Willard Bay, Pineview, Causey, Lost Creek, East Canyon, Rockport, and Smith & Morehouse.
These reservoirs provide us the ability to store snowmelt runoff for delivery of water to our customers throughout the irrigation season as well as the ability to weather drought conditions over multiple years.
At the end of March, the Bear River region snow water equivalent percent of average was 110%, down from 117% at this time a year ago. In the Weber/Ogden region it was at 99% as opposed to 131% in 2019. So far, this winter has been just about average for our area.
At the end of March, Willard Bay was 93% full, Pineview 65% and Causey 79%. Other reservoirs such as Lost Creek were at 80%, East Canyon 91%, and Rockport 78%.
Current projections lead us to believe that these reservoirs will most likely fill this season.
Having said that, the efficient and sustainable use of this limited resource remains a focus of our district.
In order to accommodate growth, be prepared for whatever climate may become the new norm, and continue to develop more sustainable water use, we all need to be constantly looking for ways to eliminate wasteful watering habits and encourage the efficient use of our water.
At our facility in Layton at 2837 E. Highway 193, we have a Learning Garden that is open to the public. Plus, we offer classes throughout the spring and summer that teach the principles of water-wise landscaping. With the current environment, many of these classes are now being offered online. Details can be found on our website at https://weberbasin.com/Conservation/LearningGarden.
The district continues to offer rebates for a variety of conservation programs and products; see our webpage for additional details.
Finally, we would like to take a moment and assure the public of the safety of your drinking water and the confidence we have in being able to continue to deliver safe, reliable water even during this pandemic. Our staff consists of dedicated individuals who understand their role in ensuring the public’s safety. We look forward to a continued productive relationship with those we serve.