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Water managers say levels are high all over the state

(Photo: Paul Nelson)

SALT LAKE CITY – While most H2O managers in Utah are thrilled with the water levels they’re seeing in reservoirs across the state, they also say some of them are already spilling over.  So, which will fill and which will spill?

There are, of course, some lakes and reservoirs that would never be filled after just one really good snow season.

“Bear Lake is still three feet from being full.  It’s not going to fill the Great Salt Lake, but it sure is helping,” according to Utah Division of Water Resources Deputy Director Todd Adams.

However, Adams reservoirs like Causey, Pineview, Gunlock and Lowe Enterprise have spilled over.  He adds that there are several others across the state that are between 90 and 95 percent capacity.  In fact, he can only find one that could be considered seriously low, namely Sevier Bridge.  Adams says that’s only at roughly 30 to 35 percent capacity.

“It was drawn down a few years ago for dam safety work.  So, it’s still trying to recover from that,” he says.

Adams praises the work being done by reservoir managers who are sending water downstream to make room for incoming snowmelt.

“You really don’t want your reservoirs to spill because then it becomes uncontrolled,” he adds.

He also says the runoff has been moving quite efficiently down the mountains, saying that’s partly due to cooler late night temperatures.

Adams says, “You have the daytime temperatures and you have the nighttime temperatures.  It looks like there’s a potential storm coming in Thursday or Friday, which will cool things down.”