Got enough snow?

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Utah needs more snow in order to avoid water rationing this summer. (Photo courtesy reaganfrey)

Whether you are out frolicking in all the fresh powder or trying to hide from it indoors, there is no denying that Utah is having a white winter. However, water resource engineers say it is critical for us to get more snow so we don’t need to ration water this coming summer.

Some Utah residents are getting fed up with all the Jack Frost mischief this winter.

“Never liked the snow much, the cold, scraping your car every morning, having to use the heater, it’s a bummer,” says Zach Hopkins, a BYU student.

However, engineers affirm that Utah needs at least two more snowy-white months to fill up Utah County reservoirs.

“We really rely and count here in Utah on the snow for our water resources, so we need a good snow year to provide storage in reservoirs,” says Dr. Nelson, professor of civil engineering at BYU.

Most of the area’s reservoirs are about 65 percent full. However, they have to be at 100 percent to supply water to everyone. This includes citizens like Blain Rushbane, whose water supply comes from these reservoirs, but he says he is not worried.

“I think the way it looks like with the snowfall we’re having and the early rain I think eventually if we continue with this weather like it’s going, if we get a few good storms, we’ll be OK,” says Rushbane.

Even if Mother Nature keeps sending fresh powder, last year’s dry winter will still have an impact on how much water Utah has this summer.

“In the dry year when we don’t get replenished in the reservoir then it puts a lot of stress on the irrigation and municipal water use the following year,” Nelson said.

Whether it snows here around Provo is actually very important because some reservoirs like Deer Creek in Provo Canyon provide drinking and municipal water to Utah County and Salt Lake City areas.

Experts also say that we should be patient and hope for more snow to come.

“Even though we might be tired of it right now and we do not like the cold, if we were to not get anymore snow we’d end up below average overall for the year and so we still need more snow for the season,” Nelson said.

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