With 100% in the moderate drought category and 90% of the state experiencing extreme drought, today Gov. Spencer J. Cox issued an Executive Order declaring a state of emergency due to drought conditions. This declaration allows drought-affected communities, agricultural producers and others to officially begin the process that may provide access to state or federal emergency resources.(more…)
Can more water be stored in Bear Lake by adjusting flood control operations? Idaho, Utah and PacifiCorp worked with reservoir modeling experts at the University of Colorado to answer this question. The technical report “Impacts on Bear Lake Storage under Alternative High-Runoff Management Operations” published today, summarizes findings about how different flood control operations can raise lake levels and increase storage.(more…)
The state’s latest water use numbers have been published by the Utah Division of Water Resources and can be found on the recently overhauled and upgraded Open Water Data website.
The latest municipal and industrial (M&I) numbers are from 2019 and show that statewide per capita water use for potable and secondary water is 223 gallons per capita per day (GPCD). In 2018, the total GPCD was 241 (2017 – 244 and 2016 – 245). M&I includes residential, commercial, institutional (for example, schools and parks), and industrial water use.(more…)
SALT LAKE CITY – Conservation is critical to meet the water needs of Utah’s growing population and is a factor that can significantly postpone water development projects.
“We’ve seen how implementing water conservation strategies can delay large-scale infrastructure projects,” said Todd Adams, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources. “When the Legislature passed the Bear River Development Act in 1991, the projected need for the water was in 2015. Thanks primarily to conservation efforts, new technology and some smaller water development projects, current projections indicate the water won’t be needed until 2045 to 2050.”(more…)
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.”(more…)
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.”
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
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.
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.” (more…)