Compared to last year, the amount of Utah land affected by severe to exceptional drought conditions as of the week ended April 14 has grown threefold. The drought is parching an estimated 53.2% of Utah compared with 17.9% of land last year. An estimated 2.1 million people live in the area currently experiencing the severe drought. Utah’s water supply managers could be facing one of the worst water supply years on record for the state. As of April 1, when snowpacks in Utah usually peak, snowpacks across the state were exceptionally poor, and all low elevation sites are completely melted. Around the same time, precipitation in the state was 47% of average. Earlier this month, the USDA designated two Utah counties natural disaster areas as a result of drought conditions. The declaration means farmers, ranchers, and businesses in the affected areas are eligible for emergency low-interest loans.