Orangeville residents may have recently noticed, and possibly even been concerned by an increase in the amount of water running through Cottonwood Creek– especially with news reports about the risk of flooding in the state– but the Emery County Water Conservancy District does not expect any problem with flooding. In fact, they are currently releasing water from Joe’s Valley Reservoir so that does not happen.
“This year is anticipated to bring a lot more runoff, so we’re releasing water right now,” they revealed in an interview, explaining that some of the rise seen in Cottonwood Creek is in fact due to this release, as well as water coming into the creek from melting snow on Horn Mountain.
Each year, the Conservancy District calculates the expected run-off, using snow pack numbers and the water content of the snow. They are currently releasing about 130 cfs because of estimates that there could be 70,000 acre feet of spring run-off into the reservoir. These calculations, and the associated steps the District takes to compensate for any variance from the norm, help to relieve any chance of flooding.
“It doesn’t always happen this way,” they said, referring to the anticipated higher runoff, “As long as it doesn’t happen too quickly, the outlook is good that we’ll have plenty of water.” And that is always good news to residents in a drought-prone area.