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Implications Of Utah's Drought For Cache County Water Levels


Although Utah’s drought makes water a precious resource across the state, water availability varies from city to city, even within the same county.  In Cache County, Hyde Park’s water levels were so low earlier this month that the Mayor Charles Wheeler sent a warning to residents. He pleaded with citizens to reduce residential water use after one of the city's water taks reported low water levels.

“As long as [water is] going out faster than you can put it in, it's going to continue to go down. And so we had to do something,” said Wheeler. 

About a day after sending the message,  water levels began to go back to normal levels in the tanks.

Water levels are not this low throughout all of Cache Valley, according to Nathan Daugs, manager of the Cache Water district. But Daugs said this doesn’t mean residents shouldn’t be worried.

“We should be concerned, iust because we've seen what happened in Hyde Park.  There are a few single home wells out in the middle of the valley that are starting to see some issues," said Daugs. "So if it continues, we could have more problems.”

Over in Hyde Park, the city is still going to do what it can to reduce water usage to conserve water levels. They have sent letters to nonresidential users and churches asking to reduce water usage. They have also cut city office water use by 50%. 

“We picked out the top water users in the community, everyone that used over 50,000 gallons a month, which is quite a bit of water," said Wheeler. "And we asked them, in a letter mentioned that they're some of the largest water users in the city and ask them to conserve.” 

Daugs said whether or not other cities will run into problems like Hyde Park did will depend on their water system.

“Each city's water system is so different, like Logan's not going to have that problem most likely because they have a number of water sources, and more water availability," said Daugs. "They're probably not going to see a situation like that anytime soon, so it's it really is city by city.” 

Kailey Foster is a senior at Utah State University studying Agricultural Communications, Broadcast Journalism, and Political Science while also getting a minor in Agribusiness. She was raised in the dairy industry in Rhode Island where she found her passion for the agriculture industry as a whole. Here at USU, she has held various leadership positions in the Dairy Science Club and the local Agricultural Communicators of Tomorrow chapter. She also also served as the 2020 Utah Miss Agriculture and is currently the 2021 Utah Ms. Agriculture. Here at UPR, she works on agriculture news stories and she produces agriculture segments such as USU Extension Highlights, the Green Thumb, and Ag Matters.