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Dry and hot weather causing problems at reservoirs, farmers already seeing problems

NORTHERN UTAH – We may see some spotted showers across the Wasatch Front, but, they’re expected to do little to help the state’s water picture.  Farmers are already seeing problems because of dry weather.

It hasn’t been record breaking heat, but, it’s been persistently dry.  National Weather Service Meteorologist Eric Schoening says the average temperature along the Wasatch Front is 92 degrees this time of year.  However, for the foreseeable future, we’ll be hitting between 94 and 98.  Plus, he says the monsoonal activity we’ve seen recently will give us more cloud cover than average, which will keep the weather warm at night.

“In additions to daytime highs, we’re not going to have a lot of recovery and we’re not going to have a lot of cooling overnight.  That’s going to be something that adds to the heat danger, as well,” Schoening says.

For farmers in Lehi, this is making their problems worse.  Utah Farmers Union Past President Kent Bushman says his alfalfa and hay crops are already strained.  He depends on irrigation water from the runoff from the mountains over Alpine.

Bushman says, “By the middle part of May, we were done with all of the runoff out of the canyon and the mountains.”

He knows other farmers who get their water from reservoirs have been able to irrigate their crops, for now.  Bushman says one of his friends in northern Utah will run out of his allotted water, soon.

“How many shares they own is based on how much [water reservoirs] get.  Normally, that would last through September or October and his last turn will be in two weeks,” according to Bushman.

Water watchers say there has been a massive draw down at reservoirs all over Utah.  National Weather Service Hydrologist Brian McInernie says, “We are going to go into water year 2019 much below where we were for 2018.”