A rash of late spring storms, the latest of which dumped nearly 2 inches of water in Davis and Weber counties, could ease water restrictions imposed last month.
The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, which provides irrigation and drinking water to areas of Davis and Weber counties, notified customers last month that water deliveries would be cut and mandatory watering schedules imposed because reservoir storage was precariously low."It looks like we may be able to relax those restrictions somewhat with these recent storms," said Ivan Flint, Weber Basin general manager. "We'll wait about two weeks to get a better read on our reservoir storage before we make a final decision, but I think we will see some changes."
Flint said the district generally sees a heavy call for water releases beginning April 15 when the irrigation season traditionally begins. The wet weather has canceled the need for releases, and the district is taking advantage of the weather to hold water in the reservoirs.
"Even the river users below the dams are not taking water which is allowing us to divert almost 1,500 acre-feet daily into Willard Bay," Flint said. Willard Bay is designed to divert water from the Weber and Ogden Rivers into storage rather than letting the unused water run into the Great Salt Lake.
Another key factor, Flint said, will be how much water actually makes it into the reservoirs during the remainder of the spring runoff.
"If it trickles out and disappears into the ground or evaporates before it gets into the streams, then it won't help us much," Flint said. "If it comes out the way it is projected, then I think we'll be looking at making changes."
Flint also cautioned that water conservation efforts will still be encouraged even if restrictions are liberalized. He said it's still too early to declare the drought at an end.