A grim picture for summer irrigation in the Sevier Valley has been painted by Ray Owens, commissioner of the Upper Sevier River, who reported substantial water decreases are expected at reservoirs.

Speaking to the Sevier River Water Users Association, Owens said the Otter Creek Reservoir is receiving an average of only 71 acre feet of water per day and that inflow at the Piute Reservoir is averaging 155 acre feet.It was projected that the Otter Creek will have only 28,000 acre feet of new water for allocation to its stockholders. The Piute will have 41,000 acre feet. And Owens said even part of that water must be released to fill storage commitments downstream.

With those releases and a large percentage of carryover in the Sevier Bridge Reservoir, users on the Lower Sevier River system will not face as critical an irrigation season as their counterparts on the Upper Sevier. An average inflow of 275 acre feet per day into that reservoir was reported by Jim Walker, commissioner on the Lower Sevier system.

Representatives of the Central Utah Project also met with the water users, proposing a monthly meeting with them to work out a program for the entire Sevier Basin. It would include water exchanges, delivery schedules, salt removal, fish and wildlife, wetland protection and other concerns. If and when water from the CUP become available, it would be piped to the Sevier River. Sheldon Talbot would be director for the irrigation and drainage projects.

The water users named three new members to the board of directors: Sheldon Proctor of Garfield County, Virge Brown of Sevier County and Rodger Stanworth of Millard County. Holdover directors are Afton Blood, Piute County; Clark Wall, Sevier County; Dwight Malmgren, Sanpete County; and Phil Nielson, Millard County.