Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force

The Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force was formed to identify critical issues facing the State’s long-term water supply, to optimize agricultural water supply for future needs, and to sustain Utah’s vital agriculture industry and heritage. The task force will also identify obstacles and constraints to optimization and recommend ways to improve the quantification of agricultural water use. 

This will help the State evaluate ways to improve agricultural water use practices, create benefits for farmers, optimize water use, and protect water quantity and quality for all uses in the system. 

The task force will share its findings with the legislative Water Development Commission; the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Interim Committee; the Executive Water Task Force; water providers; and the general public.

HB381 Agricultural Water Optimization

HB39 Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force Amendments

Alfalfa imageCase Studies & Reports

Depletion Accounting for Irrigation Water Rights in Utah – (June 2020) Producers have asked the Utah Division of Water Rights to consider new means of administering water rights by depletion rather than the historic method of irrigation diversion duty and number of acres irrigated. Administering irrigation rights by depletion requires accurate, effective, and defensible means to measure and account for actual depletion. With numerous available and emerging methodologies to do so, the Legislative Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force sought to evaluate and identify the most practical, effective, and defensible means of measuring and accounting for actual depletion in Utah.

Case Study of Emery County Agriculture Water Quantification System Implementation  – (March 2020)  The overall purpose of this project is to engage stakeholders in Emery County (including water managers and producers) and to understand, document, and evaluate the drivers, methods, costs, benefits and lessons learned from the implementation of a network of flow measurement structures with transparent, Real-Time Monitoring and Control System.

Research Plan for Agricultural Water Optimization in Utah – (February 2019) This memorandum takes a look at what water and agricultural management practices can maintain or increase agricultural production while minimizing impacts upon water supply, water quality and the environment. The report outlines a research framework at both the basin and on-farm scale in Utah.

Published June 16, 2020

Cost estimates for the Lake Powell Pipeline’s construction; interest during construction; present value of annual operation, maintenance, replacement and power; and estimated total project costs are reported in table 3.20-9 on page 242 of the draft Environmental Impact Statement published on Monday, June 8, 2020. Costs are comparable to prior estimates.

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Published June 9, 2020

St. George, UT – After decades of study, the Lake Powell Pipeline has reached a critical milestone – the Bureau of Reclamation has issued the draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) and opened a public comment period. The Southern Alternative has been named the “preferred alternative.”

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Weekly Lawn Watering Guide Week of May 1 to 7 2020
Published April 30, 2020

Is it time to turn the sprinklers on? Check the Utah Division of Water Resources’ Weekly Lawn Watering Guide and find out. The guide is posted every Friday on the division’s Facebook page and website during the irrigation season to help Utahns target water needs in each county. 

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