|Joes Valley Reservoir will sit at a record low by the end of the season without some drought relief.|
Craig Johansen gave an update on water at the recent May meeting of the Emery County Public Lands Council. The forecast is the expectation of what can be expected from the runoff. The streamflow forecast as of May 1 was listed as: Electric Lake inflow-8,500 acre feet which is 54 percent of normal; Huntington Creek near the first diversion, 32,000 acre feet which is 64 percent of normal; Joes Valley inflow, 29,000 acre feet which is 50 percent of normal; Ferron Creek above Millsite, 22,000 acre feet which is 56 percent of normal; Muddy Creek, near Emery, 13,000 acre feet which is 65 percent of normal.
In Joes Valley reservoir at the beginning of the season there was 11,000 acre feet of water, in September, it is projected that the reservoir will have 5,000 acre feet of water. A full allocation of water at 100 percent from Joes Valley is 28,000 acre feet of water; 70 percent allocation is being allotted this year which is close to 20,000 acre feet of water. This allows a 5,000 acre feet of water buffer for the reservoir.
"The reservoir in September will be the lowest we've seen. A lot of rain would help the inflow, evaporation and seepage will come from the 5,000 acre feet left in the reservoir. We expect the runoff to be completed within the next three weeks. Last year we allocated 100 percent from Joes Valley and this year we are dealing with 30 percent less on the allocated water. The front end of the season will be the same as last year, but the tail end of the season will be drier unless we get some rain in July and August. Each of the water share owners that own project water have some primary water to go with it and everyone is not going to run out of water at the same time. The project water is an oncall system and people call for the water as they need it.
"Those with the sprinklers will be at an advantage," said Johansen.