The water level in Recapture Reservoir, northeast of Blanding, is up by 30 feet since the winter. The new water has refilled the reservoir far beyond the conservation pool, where it has been for nearly two years.
At Loyds Lake, southwest of Monticello, the water level is 17 feet higher than it was at the same time last year. Municipal water systems, irrigators and recreation enthusiasts are all excited about the water.
At the current time, Loyds Lake holds approximately 2,500 acre-feet of water. Recapture Reservoir holds 6,500 acre-feet of water.
After a large amount of snow in December and January, it seemed that San Juan County had fallen into the same late winter doldrums that had afflicted the area and limited the snowpack in recent years. Precipitation was low in February and March.
However, heavier than normal rains in April and May helped turn the tide and, apparently, turned on the spigots.
Even the water level in the newly expanded reservoir at Dry Wash, which was empty for the past two seasons, is within five feet of the top.
With full municipal reservoirs and filling irrigation reservoirs, it appears as if there will be adequate water for lawns and gardens in area communities.
Of course, area residents shouldn’t waste water in the dry climate.
“Usage so far doesn’t appear to be out of whack,” said Nate Langston, Monticello City Public Works Director. “As long as people don’t water between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m., there should be no other restrictions.”
The water level in Lake Powell is continuing to rise. It is up 14 feet since the late winter and is five feet higher than at the same point in 2015.
May is traditionally one of the driest months of the year in San Juan County, but it was wet in May, 2016. Total precipitation was 94 percent higher than normal in Blanding and 54 percent higher than average in Monticello.
The wet and warm weather has resulted in a beautiful spring for the canyon country of southeast Utah.