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Why is Water Important in Utah?

historical photo

This is a sheep camp near Callao, Utah, in the 1930s. The photo of a dry landscape was taken by Coleman Wright Seal, a Civilian Conservation Corps worker out there. Actually, not all of Utah is this dry!

Hm.... isn't water important everywhere? Yes, of course. But Utah has its own relationship with water. First of all:

Utah is a dry state.

Utah is the second-driest state in the nation. (Find out: which is the driest?)

How much water does Utah get?

rock formation

Church Rock in Dry Valley, San Juan County, Utah.

Why would the amount of rain and snow that falls make a difference to people living here?

Throughout the centuries, indigenous people had figured out how to live in a land without much water. But their solution (migrating throughout the region so that they could hunt and gather plant foods) didn't fit in with the way most Anglo Americans lived in the 1800s.

Mormon leaders had read reports by John C. Frémont and others about the West.  They knew that by going to the Great Basin they were taking their people into a desert. 

So why did the Mormons choose to settle in such a dry place?

Go back to Water Questions.