SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Water levels at Utah’s reservoirs are lower than normal after a bad year for snowpack and Gov. Spencer Cox is warning severe drought conditions could trigger water and fire restrictions and a possible ban on fireworks this year.
Cox, a Republican in his first year as governor, spoke Thursday at his monthly news conference on PBS about the looming impact of the drought, FOX-13 reported.
“It’s really bad,” Cox said. “It’s as bad as it’s been. We need everyone in the state to understand now that we are heading into one of the worst drought, and potentially one of the worst fire seasons that we’ve seen.”
He added: “I can envision a time soon where new developments we would be eliminating park strips and looking at xeriscaping.” (Xeriscaping means landscape an area in a style which requires little or no irrigation).
The poor snowpack this winter has left Utah’s reservoirs with expanding beaches and receding lakes. At the popular Pineview Reservoir, water levels are about 18 feet below normal.
Paul Avner, who runs a sports rental shop, said water is the lowest he’s seen in over a dozen years, KSL reported.
“We’re not even to June and the water’s already starting to drop,” Avner said. “We’re going in the wrong direction.”
For more information on Utah’s drought condition, visit Drought.gov.