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Drought Updates

The Utah Divisions of Water Rights and Water Resources are providing regular drought and water updates. These reports are more infrequent during spring, fall and winter as we continue to monitor conditions.

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Great Salt Lake level falls below historic low measured in October 2021

SALT LAKE CITY (June 24, 2022)  – On July 3, the level of Great Salt Lake dropped below the October 2021 historic low elevation. This average daily surface water elevation, 4,190.1 feet, was measured at USGS station 10010000, located on the southern end of the lake and is associated with a data record dating back to 1847.  

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Gov. Cox appoints Rep. Joel Ferry as new DNR executive director

SALT LAKE CITY (June 24, 2022)  – Gov. Spencer Cox announced Rep. Joel Ferry will be joining his administration as director of the Department of Natural Resources. This appointment is subject to approval from the Utah Senate.

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Gov. Spencer J. Cox Issues Drought Emergency Order

SALT LAKE CITY (April 21, 2022)  – Gov. Spencer J. Cox declared a state of emergency due to the dire drought conditions affecting the entire state. This declaration activates the Drought Response Committee and triggers increased monitoring and reporting. It also allows drought-affected communities, agricultural producers and others to report unmet needs and work toward solutions.

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Utah is Committed to Living within Its Colorado River Allocation

The state of Utah recognizes and is closely monitoring changing hydrology on the Colorado River. Because Utah’s citizens are among the millions who rely on the Colorado River, this is an issue of critical importance to our state and the West. 

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DNR Responds to Ute Tribe Water Claims

SALT LAKE CITY (Oct. 12, 2021) – Neither the State of Utah nor the Lake Powell Pipeline has taken the Ute Indian Tribe’s water rights. The tribe has long held a federally decreed water right for 144,000 acre-feet of depletion from the Colorado River system. The state has recognized and respected this water right and the tribe’s annual use of water under it. 

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A Step Forward in Securing Water for a Drying Great Salt Lake

As Great Salt Lake experiences alarmingly low water levels this year—dropping by nearly a foot below its previous historic low, the Utah Division of Water Rights this past week approved applications to deliver water to Farmington Bay of Great Salt Lake via the Jordan River. An innovative partnership is laying the groundwork to voluntarily share water for the lake to meet crucial needs for people, birds, and other wildlife. 

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Ute Tribe Water Claims Dismissed

WASHINGTON, D.C. (Sept. 22, 2021) – A federal judge dismissed claims in a lawsuit filed by the Ute Indian Tribe against the U.S. Department of Interior, the State of Utah, and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District. The Tribe alleged mismanagement of water-development projects in northeastern Utah.

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Weekly Snapshot of Utah’s Wildfire Activity

The Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands is providing weekly Utah Wildfire Activity updates. The report includes year-to-year comparisons; leading causes of human-caused wildfires; wildfire prevention tips and a future weather outlook.

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Great Salt Lake Nears New Historic Low

Reports that the Great Salt Lake has dropped below its historic low elevation of 4,191.35 are premature. The Utah Division of Water Resources is following the lake’s elevation closely and expects it will drop below that point in the coming days.

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