Water Safety - Be a Water Watcher
Recreating Near Rivers & Streams
As Utah continues to warm this spring, the state’s rivers and streams are at record levels with melting snowpack. While this is great news for our water supply, it also poses a significant danger to those who venture too close to the water’s edge. Last year’s gentle streams could quickly become raging torrents, and the cold water can sap your strength in a matter of seconds. We urge everyone to stay away from river and stream banks until the runoff subsides, as this is the safest thing you can do for yourself, your family, and even your pets. Here are a few tips to help keep you and your loved ones safe this spring:
- Please keep a close eye on your children and pets when near water this spring and early summer.
- Designate a water watcher – someone who can be alert, undistracted and prepared to help in case of emergency.
- Rethink entering a river to save someone! If someone falls in, do not jump in after them. Instead, throw them something that can help and call 911.
- Personal flotation devices (PFDs) are essential for keeping people safe around water. Always wear a life jacket when near rivers or streams, even if you don’t plan to enter the water. And if you’re engaging in whitewater activities, make sure to wear other PPE as well.
- It’s also crucial to be aware of weather conditions and avoid entering the water during storms or periods of heavy rain. Water levels can rise quickly and without warning.
- Finally, always be prepared for an emergency by carrying a whistle, cell phone, or other signaling device that can alert others to your location.
- Rivers and streams are running fast, high, and cold. Please stay away from river and stream banks until the runoff subsides!
- Department of Natural Resources – Flooding Information
- Colorado Basin River Forecasting Center – Statewide flood forecasting
- Division of Emergency Management – Statewide emergency preparedness and emergency response information
- Flood hazard information – Flood information for community members
- Current Conditions – Current weather conditions from the National Weather Service
- 1-6 day flood forecast – Advanced hydrologic predictions from the National Weather Service
- Agency partner resources – Water safety assets