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Front Page » April 8, 2003 » Local News » Dry Days Ahead
Published 4,193 days ago

Dry Days Ahead


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By DARRELL LEAMASTER
Castle Valley Special Service District

A Look at the Drought

Electric Lake is well below the spillway with only an estimated 7,800 acre feet of water at this time.

The drought cycle that we have been experiencing in our area has continued through another winter. This is the fifth year in a row of below normal precipitation. The nice warm and dry winter days that the county enjoyed in January and February have caught up with us, and now we must pay the price. The price is lower snow-pack and lower water expectations for this summers water needs.

The snow-pack is better than it was at this time last year. However, the total water available for our use will be about the same because all of the major storage reservoirs are lower this year than last. The total amount of water available for use in the secondary irrigation system will be about the same as last year.

Huntington, Cleveland and Elmo will have less water this year than last year because the cities were not able to lease as many shares of water this year as they have in the past. Utah Power has leased about 8,400 acre feet of water to allow them sufficient water to operate the Huntington plant this summer. Their lease has left less water available to the cities. Residents in these towns will have to use less water this year than last year.

Millsite Reservoir is partially filled at this time and experts are hopeful for the future.

Last year severe watering restrictions were placed on all of the secondary irrigation systems. This year you can expect about the same kind of restrictions. No watering will be allowed during the hot daylight hours between 10 am and 6 pm and most cities will allow only two days of watering each week. These restrictions will be placed on the systems at the start of the year and will be reviewed later in the year to see if they need to be tightened or reduced. Everyone is urged to conserve water and only water when necessary. The water conservation measures that were put into place last year proved to be very effective in reducing the water usage. The average usage for all of the towns in the district is 4,610 acre feet. Last year with the restrictions in place the district used 3,504 acre feet, which is a 24 percent reduction. The district appreciates everyone's efforts in conserving water last year; it did make a huge difference.

The Castle Valley Special Service District requests that everyone be cooperative and adhere to the restrictions imposed in your city.

This segment of Huntington Creek shows the recent snowfall on the mountain.

If we are all careful we can make it through the year.

The district expects to turn the systems on during the week of April 21, if water is available from the canals.

This is about a week later than normal to help conserve water at the start of the season.


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