With a legislatively set May 1 deadline approaching, Adams said about 50 canal companies to date have notified the state water division about their safety management plans. He estimated Utah has 1,300 to 1,400 canal and irrigation companies, most of them small and in rural or less populated parts of the state where the risk to life and property is minimal.
The the Strawberry Highline Canal Company in Utah County is among those that have inspected its waterways and developed a safety plan.
"We didn't learn anything we didn't know," said general manager Jamison Thornton. "Most canal companies know where their potential problem areas are and keep an eye on them pretty closely."
Thornton said he doesn't think mandatory safety management plans are necessary.
"The issue you have, there are lots and lots of canals within the state and very few of them have the conditions of the one in Murray that had the failure with so many homes right on top of them," he said. "It's hard to place a burden on the canal company entirely when they had no choice in the development that came up around them."
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