Only one reservoir among six that feed water into the Sevier River Basin has filled to capacity this spring.
And the others have yet to reach the amount of water that was in storage at this time last year.Streamflows throughout the basin, however, will probably be above average in most cases, according to a Natural Resources Conservation Service report.
The report notes that the Piute Reservoir near Junction in Piute County was nearly filled with 71,400 acre feet of water on April 1. The longtime average is 46,200 feet and the capacity is 71,800 acre feet. The Piute has filled to capacity the past two years.
The largest reservoir, the Sevier Bridge (Yuba Dam) south of Levan, contained nearly average storage but was at only a little more than half of its capacity, lacking about 40,000 acre feet of equaling that of last year. Storage was reported at 131,900 acre feet, compared with 172,700 a year ago. The average is 136,200 and the capacity is 236,000.
The Sevier Bridge Reservoir provides irrigation water for the Lower Sevier Basin, primarily in the Delta area, while others in the river system store water for use in both the upper and lower basins.
The third-largest reservoir, Otter Creek in Piute County, holds 43,600 feet. Last year it had stored 52,700, the longtime average is 35,800 and the capacity is 52,5OO.
The smaller Gunnison and Minersville (Rocky Ford) reservoirs have less water stored than last year and were about half of average at 11,800 and 12,200 acre feet, respectively. The averages were 16,300 for the Gunnison and 14,300 for Minersville.
Panguitch Lake was about half filled, containing 13,300 acre feet.
Streamflow forecasts are for April through July. The 30-year averages and what is considered to be the most-probable flows this year along the Sevier and Beaver rivers, listed in order, are as follows:
- Sevier River at Hatch, 54,000 acre feet average, 80,000 feet most-probable flow.
- Sevier River near Circleville, 75,000, 102,000.
- Sevier River near Kingston, 83,000, 110,000.
- Antimony Creek, 7,400, 8,900.
- East Fork of Sevier River near Kingston, 115,000, 140,000.
- Sevier River below Piute Dam, 115,000, 140,000.
- Clear Creek, 21,000, 24,000.
- Pleasant Creek near Mt. Pleasant, 8,500, 7,500.
- Ephraim Creek near Ephraim, 12,600, 11,200.
- Sevier River near Gunnison, 239,000, 280,000.
- Chicken Creek near Levan, 4,700, 4,500.
- Oak Creek near Oak City, 1,700, 1,700.
- Beaver River near Beaver, 26,000, 29,000.
- Minersville Reservoir inflow, 16,700, 18,000.
Snowpacks are much above average at the upper levels but below average at lower elevations because of warm weather, Natural Resources Conservation Service officials observed.
The Lower Sevier River Watershed is below average. It had 122 percent of last year's accumulation but only 78 percent of the long-term average.