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Water update

Staff Writer

Joe's Valley reservoir is currently at 75 percent storage capacity. Water releases are necessary to accommodate the run off expected to begin in May.

The executive board of the Emery Water Conservancy District met recently for their spring meeting. Jay Mark Humphrey gave the water update and forecast. "The numbers are changing every day with the all the storms we have had recently. All drainages are more than 100 percent. Joe's Valley is at 75 percent of storage capacity right now. Which means there is room for 15,000 acre feet of water. With the snowpack that is up there right now, 60,000 acre feet are going to be coming in. Of that we can use 15,000. So, what are we going to do with the remaining 30,000?" asked Humphrey.

Humphrey explained that the run-off will begin near May 20 and with the present amount of water in Joe's Valley, there is not enough storage space for the expected amount of water. He suggested beginning to release water at a 200 second foot rate as soon as possible. It will take about a week to increase stream flow to that level, and approximately six weeks to release enough water to make room for most of the run-off. "Even at those levels, we will lose some water over the spillway," Humphrey stated. The board discussed the suggestion and moved to begin the release. He stressed the need for residents to be aware of the water releases being planned. Due to the releases, water in the river will be abnormally high and ice on Joe's Valley reservoir will be extremely unstable.

"This is a good year, there's no doubt about it. There should be no restrictions this year until after the reservoirs quit spilling," added Humphrey.

Humphrey then went on to report about a situation recently brought to his attention. He has learned that the Division of Wildlife Resources is planning to remove the chub from Joe's Valley Reservoir. He stated that he has not heard this directly from the DWR and is very concerned about the methods by which they will be doing the removal. Humphrey also reported that he has sent a letter to the DWR asking for some response to this concerns.

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