Covy Jones

Wildlife in Utah are suffering in response to record-setting droughts across the state.  One species of particular interest is mule deer, whose populations are in decline.

Within the last year, Utah has experienced the worst drought conditions ever recorded. There has been increasing concern for how this water crisis is affecting Utah’s natural ecosystems, particularly with our mule deer herds.

Utah Department of Natural Resources

Legislation and water projects are making progress on protecting Great Salt Lake water levels, but individual actions make a significant difference too. Here’s what you can do to help conserve water for the lake.

Rain may bring relief during the extended drought

Oct 26, 2021
Halie West / Unsplash

New measurements for the state of drought in the West deliver a grim long-term forecast. But the latest data also show new rains could bring relief to some parts of the region. 

Luke Runyon / KUNC

The West’s dire drought issues took a national stage on Friday, as a roster of prominent Western water experts from the region testified in front of the U.S. Congress. 

A new water year begins in the West

Oct 12, 2021
Green River in Utah.

October marks the beginning of a new calendar for those who measure and manage the West’s water. KUNC’s Alex Hager reports much of the West remains in drought at the beginning of the new “water year.”


Westwind Air Service / Unsplash

The U.S. senate’s energy subcommittee on water and power held a hearing in Washington DC Wednesday. They heard from water experts from several western states about ongoing drought conditions. 

The U.S. senate’s energy subcommittee on water and power held a hearing in Washington DC Wednesday about ongoing drought conditions. KUNC’s Alex Hager reports, they heard from water experts from several western states. 

How Producers Are Dealing With Hay Shortages In Utah

Sep 29, 2021
Don Graham / flickr.com

Utah’s hay shortage and demand is causing a unique struggle for animal owners this year as the state continues to experience more climate and market extremes. 

Judy Fahys/Inside Climate News

 The Colorado River is grappling with shortages this year. But it was a very different story nearly thirty years ago. High flows coming through a dam just upstream of the Grand Canyon were ripping it apart. 

Salt Lake County and City Officials announced on Monday that the pond at Sugar House Park will be drained early due to low water levels. Water feeds to the pond through Parley’s Creek, which is currently dry and causing the low water levels in the pond.

Utah is currently in one of the worst droughts since recording began in the late 1800s. Many reservoirs are at an all-time low, and some are drying up completely. Because of this, a statewide alarm was sounded by the governor asking the public to conserve water. 

While watering lawns less can be done to conserve water during a drought, using less water isn’t always possible in agricultural operations. As water availability dwindles, some farmers are noticing decreases in their agricultural outputs.

Managing Your Garden During The Midsummer Heat

Jul 6, 2021

With the midsummer heat upon us, we are beginning to see a few storms. This rain is good, of course, because this brings some badly needed moisture.

The Salt Lake Tribune

State and local leaders plead with you not to light personal fireworks as Utah's extreme drought persists and the promise of a terrible wildfire season looms. A Utah woman sues her landlord after getting evicted for breaching her contract by 'voicing suicidal thoughts'. And Utah's poet laureate marks a moment in history with a poem about vaccines, hope, and shared humanity. 


Drought-tolerant landscaping has become a popular option in dry areas to lessen the need for water on people's lawns. Joining me today is Rick Heflebower, USU Extension Horticulturist in Washington County, to talk about this method of drought management.

Coexisting With Wildlife During A Drought

Jun 23, 2021

Just as humans must learn to adapt to changes in water availability during a drought, so must wildlife. Less water means less available habitat for wildlife, and since Utah is home to a sizable number of wildlife species, prolonged drought can create a perfect storm for human-wildlife conflict at the urban-wildland interface. 

Just as humans must learn to adapt to changes in water availability during a drought, so must wildlife. Less water means less available habitat for wildlife, and since Utah is home to a sizable number of wildlife species, prolonged drought can create a perfect storm for human-wildlife conflict at the urban-wildland interface.

Ask An Expert: June Gardening Checklist

Jun 19, 2021

June is here, the sun is shining, and gardening is in full swing! Consider these tips from the Utah State University Extension Gardener’s Almanac to help make your yard and garden the best they can be. Also included are links for tips and additional information.

Thanks to extreme drought conditions, most of Utah is under watering restrictions which has left some Southern Utah residents wondering why public spaces like parks, golf courses and cemeteries are being watered during the day.

You may be seeing less green grass around as Gov. Cox askes Utahns to cut back on their watering habits in a press conference on Tuesday. This all comes after Cox announced he has issued a third executive order declaring a statewide drought emergency.

Drought, Police Reform, And More On Behind The Headlines

May 28, 2021
ABC4 Utah

Drought strains Utah's water supplies and the dry conditions mean a severe (and expensive) fire season may be coming. Conservationists object to proposed exploratory drilling near the edge of Dinosaur National Monument. And a year after George Floyd’s death, how much has changed in Utah police practices?

Ask An Expert: How To Prioritize Home Irrigation During A Drought

May 25, 2021

Due to drought conditions throughout the state, Governor Spencer Cox recently issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency for Utah. To date, 100% of Utah is in the moderate drought category, and 90% of the state is experiencing extreme drought.

Being Efficient While Watering Your Lawn

May 21, 2021

Here are a few tips for you on how to irrigate your lawn more efficiently. 

Keeping Up With Your Lawn During The Drought

Mar 30, 2021

Water levels in Utah have gone down 14% in the past year and when the winter didn’t bring in much snow packs, Gov. Spencer Cox signed a new drought executive order. With warm weather just around the corner, how can we keep our lawns green while still being mindful of water use?

Utah's 2020 Drought Likely To Impact Water Supply This Year

Mar 1, 2021
Jordan Clayton / Natural Resource Conservation Service

Last year, Utah experienced its worst drought in 20 years. Typically Utahns count on spring snowpack to remedy a dry year and while February snows have been a boon to ski areas the question remains: are they enough to generate an average water supply? 


We are aware that climate change has ushered in an era of more frequent and extreme droughts, which constrain agricultural water supplies and stress crops. In response, agricultural companies have been developing many varieties of drought-tolerant corn and other plants. These drought-tolerant plants may come with an added benefit, resistance to mites and other pests. 

National Park Service

What if I purchase an early season ski pass– will it pay off with good snow this winter? Yoshimitsu Chikamoto, a climate scientist at Utah State University Utah had an idea to use climate modeling to help him decide.

Brad Rippey / U.S. Department of Agriculture

Through a new citizen science initiative, the Utah Climate Center will capture drought data through public observations posted on social media.

Earl Creech

Utah is one of the driest states, and citizens are accustomed to drought warnings and plans. Last October, Governor Gary Herbert declared a state of emergency when he put a drought emergency order into effect. Now, a year later, the order has been lifted and 2019 will now take its place as Utah’s 10th wettest year recorded.

Steve Jurvetson / Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Utah’s snow-water equivalent is well above median, and currently none of the state is in a severe-to-extreme drought. But Utahns shouldn’t relax about their water supplies just yet.