Extension Requested on Lake Powell Pipeline Timelime

Published 09-24-20

The Utah Division of Water Resources and Washington County Water Conservancy District have requested an extended timeline from the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to consider comments received on the Lake Powell Pipeline’s draft Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) from the public, tribes, non-government organizations and fellow Colorado River Basin states.

“The Lake Powell Pipeline is a critical water infrastructure project for Utah,” said Todd Adams, director, Utah Division of Water Resources. “The extension will allow more time to consider the comments and complete further analysis, which will contribute to a more comprehensive draft and final EIS.”

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Changes Coming to Smart Controller Rebate

Changes coming to smart irrigation controller rebate program

Published 09-15-20

Changes are coming to the Utah Division of Water Resources’ smart irrigation controller rebate program. The current program rebates 50% of the cost (up to $150) when you purchase an eligible WaterSense labeled smart controller. The program is transitioning to a fixed rebate of up to $75 beginning Nov. 1.

“Smart controller costs have come down since the program’s inception in 2018. Now you can get a great controller starting as low as $59,” said Marcie Larson, the division’s manager over water conservation and public information. “Currently the average rebate is about $66, so the new fixed-rate program that gives consumers up to $75 is a great deal and also allows more rebates to be awarded. The current rebate works well for those who want to purchase a more expensive controller.” 

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Image of Lake Powell at Twillight

Response to Basin States’ Lake Powell Pipeline letter

Published 09-09-20

The Sept. 8 conclusion of the public comment period for the Lake Powell Pipeline draft Environmental Impact Statement is another significant project milestone. We’re pleased to know the other Colorado River Basin States are committed to working toward solutions in good faith. 

Comments from the other basin states were expected and are part of a comprehensive process. There are numerous water projects in the West that have worked through unresolved issues while under federal review. As basin states, we have a history of solving complex challenges, and we will do so now. 

The State of Utah remains committed to working with the other basin states to mitigate their concerns raised by our intent to use a portion of Utah’s Colorado River allocation to provide water to Washington County. We will work diligently to address their concerns over the coming months. 

The current NEPA process is the culmination of 20 years of study and planning. The project would use 5% of Utah’s Colorado River compact allocation and is critical to meeting the needs of southern Utah by enhancing the reliability of Washington County’s water system. Without the project, the economic viability and water security of one of the fastest-growing regions in the United States will be harmed.  – Utah Division of Water Resources Director Todd Adams

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Director Todd Adams

Director of Utah Division of Water Resources Appointed

Published 12-17-19

Todd D. Adams has been appointed to head the Utah Division of Water Resources. Department of Natural Resources Executive Director Brian Steed selected Adams to replace Eric Millis who retired after nearly 32 years with the division, six of those as the director. 

Adams started his career with the division in 1990 after graduating from Utah State University with both a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in civil engineering. He has served as the division’s deputy director since 2013. Before being promoted to deputy director, he was the assistant director since 2006.  (more…)

Image of Eric Millis and Todd Adams

Director of Utah Division of Water Resources Announces Retirement

Published 12-04-19

After serving as director of the Utah Division of Water Resources for the past six years, Eric Millis will retire from public service Dec. 16. Millis has spent nearly 32 years with the division working on a variety of projects that support the division’s mission to “plan, conserve, develop and protect Utah’s water resources.” (more…)

Water Resources Announces Finalized Regional Water Conservation Goals

Published 11-25-19

After reviewing and incorporating over 330 public comments, the Utah Division of Water Resources has finalized regional water conservation goals. Goals were established for nine regions around the state for municipal and industrial (M&I) water conservation. M&I includes residential, commercial, institutional (for example, schools and parks), and industrial water use, and excludes agriculture, mining and power generation.

“We appreciate all those who took the time to review the goals and share their opinions,” said Division of Water Resources Director Eric Millis. “There were some insightful comments, which were incorporated into the report. There is always value in soliciting public input.”
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Bear River Refuge Wellsville Mountains

State Updates Bear River Development Feasibility Study

Published 11-19-19

The latest study regarding the Bear River Development (BRD) project has been released by the Utah Division of Water Resources and includes 13 potential reservoir combinations and pipeline alignments, as well as updated costs. At full development, the project will deliver 220,000 acre-feet of water per year to Utahns in Box Elder, Cache, Davis, Salt Lake and Weber counties. (more…)

Lake Powell at Twilight

Bureau of Reclamation to Lead Lake Powell Pipeline NEPA Process

Published 10-29-19

On Oct. 28, the U.S. Department of the Interior notified the Utah Board of Water Resources (board) that it has assigned the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation) to lead the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) compliance for the Lake Powell Pipeline (LPP) project.

In September 2019, the board announced it eliminated two reservoirs proposed to generate hydropower at times of peak demand. As a result, the licensing requirements of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission no longer applied to the project and the board withdrew the FERC license application. The board subsequently requested that the Department of the Interior appoint Reclamation as the lead federal agency for purposes of completing the NEPA review.

“The division looks forward to working with Reclamation on updating the timeline and cost estimate for the project and completing the Environmental Impact Statement,” said Eric Millis, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources.

The LPP is an approximately 140-mile pipeline that will diversify and enhance water resources for Utah’s fastest growing and driest region by using a small portion of the state’s available Colorado River water right. Visit LPPUtah.org for more information.