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The future of Cache Valley's water management

The Blacksmith Fork river in Logan

As winter storms continue, many Utahns wonder how the snow will affect this year's water. The Cache Water District is preparing now.

Nathan Daugs is the manager of the Cache Water District. He said, at least in the short term, Cache Valley’s water outlook is good.

“Short term, we're in good shape, because we're because we have good snowpack and the ground is saturated. So we should have good runoff this year," Daugs said.

But, he added, Cache Valley has room to improve in long-term water management. “Long term the hard part with our systems is we have no backup, right? We have no storage for water for those lean years if the snowpack is not there.”

There are many reservoirs around the state that store water long-term, but Daugs said more small-scale projects would give them more options to keep rivers flowing.

“Some small reservoirs on different tributaries would be good for our long-term water security," Daugs noted. "It gives us options to use that water different times of the year, which is critical for both water use for agriculture in cities, but also for the environment.”

Daugs said small-scale projects would provide more than just environmental benefits to Cache Valley.

“Take the Blacksmith Fork River, it goes dry pretty much every year, no matter what. Even a small reservoir somewhere up higher in the headwaters of that river could keep that flowing year round, and provide other benefits too, it can provide great economic benefits," he explained.

As Utah’s snowpack totals this year are at 150% of average across most of the state, the water outlook is good, but whether we have any left at the end of the summer depends on how well we can manage our water use.

Anna grew up begging her mom to play music instead of public radio over the car stereo on the way to school. Now, she loves radio and the power of storytelling through sound. While she is happy to report on anything from dance concerts to laughter practice, her main focus at UPR is political reporting. She is studying Journalism and Political Science at Utah State University and wants to work in political communication after she graduates. In her free time, she spends time with her rescue dog Quigley and enjoys rock climbing.