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S. UTAH WATERSHEDS HAVE ABOVE-AVERAGE YEAR

SHARE S. UTAH WATERSHEDS HAVE ABOVE-AVERAGE YEAR

The official water year bowed out in southern Utah with mountain precipitation ranging from 123 percent to 132 percent of average on all eight watersheds and Richfield getting its fourth-wettest year on record .

On the southern watersheds, South Eastern Utah led the river basins, recording 132 percent of average during the water year that ended Sept. 30. But even the station recording the least precipitation, the Dirty Devil, was still 114 percent of average.In between those two basins were the watersheds of the Green River with 131 percent of average; Sevier River, 130; Beaver River and Virgin River, each 128 percent; Price-San Rafael, 124; and Escalante River, 123.

Richfield received 10.92 inches during the water year, compared with only 5.48 inches the previous year. The 20-year average is 8.52 inches.

Precipitation was more only in 1985, 1982 and 1981.

The highest precipitation of any reporting station in the mountains was 51.4 inches at Midway Valley, which feeds the Sevier and Beaver River drainages. This was followed closely by another Sevier River station, Kimberly Mine, with 50.8.

The two lowest amounts were both on the Dirty Devil River watershed. Donkey Reservoir recorded 23.1 and Black Flat-U.M. Creek 24.2.

Here's a look at precipitation and comparisons on the eight southern Utah river drainages, with number of stations on each watershed in parenthesis: Sevier River : 36.6 inches during 1994-95 water year, 28.7 inches long-term average, Midway Valley station highest precipitation with 51.4, Long Valley Junction least with 27.7.

Virgin River 38.3 inches 1994-95, 27.6 average, Midway Valley highest 51.4, Long Valley Junction least 27.7 (the two stations supply water to both Virgin and Sevier River basins).

Green River 32.7 1994-95, 25.1 average, King's Cabin highest 39.4, Hole-In-Rock least 26.4.

Price-San Rafael 35.7 1994-95, 28.7 average, Red Pine Ridge highest 39.7, White River #1 least 28.1.

Dirty Devil River 28.2 1994-95, 24.7 average, Dill's Camp highest 37.4, Donkey Reservoir least 23.1.

South Eastern Utah 34.3 this year, 26.0 average, LaSal Mountain highest 39.1, East Willow Creek least 26.1.

Beaver River 40.6 this year, 31.8 average, Big Flat highest 44.3, Merchant Valley least 36.9.

Escalante River 27.0 this year, 21.9 average, Widstoe #3 highest 30.9, Donkey Reservoir least 23.1.

In Richfield, the year started out wet with 2.48 inches in October but the highest amount of any single month was 2.85 inches in May. The least monthly precipitation was December with only .13 of an inch.

The 1-inch mark was surpassed during only two other months, March recording 1.48 and November 1.15. Other months and the amounts received from the wettest to the driest, were June .76, April .61, August .41, July .39, February .27, September .20 and January 19.

Reports of annual precipitation during the 20 years show 1985 the wettest with 12.80 inches while the driest was 1976 with only 4.36. others are as follows: 1994, 5.48; 1993, 10.23; 1992, 8.51; 1991, 972; 1990, 5.43; 1989, 5.63; 1988, 6.55; 1987, 7.67; 1986, 8.11; 1984, 9.37; 1983, 10.58; 1982, 12.54; 1981, 11.53; 1980, 10.78; 1979, 7.73; 1978, 10.09; 1977, 5.20; and 1975, 848.