The Utah County Commission passed a resolution Friday afternoon protesting the Central Utah Water Conservancy District's plan to cut flows from Deer Creek Reservoir to the Provo River in an effort to conserve water.
The conservancy district wants to substitute 20,000 acre-feet of water that would normally flow into Utah Lake from Deer Creek Reservoir with water from Strawberry Reservoir, affecting stream flows.The Commission called a special public meeting to hear concerns from citizens, water groups and local leaders about the proposed transfer, attended by about 100 people.
"We are deeply concerned over . . . what we deem to be water transferred or reduced in our area without our input," said Commission Chairman Malcolm Beck. "We are deeply concerned about the future of Utah Lake with some of the decisions we see being made."
Commissioner Brent Morris said if the dry spell continues, Salt Lake County needs to realize Utah County is the second biggest county with a population of 250,000 and that cooperation is needed in times of crisis such as this.
"This is not the time for Salt Lake County to flex its muscles at the exclusion and expense of Utah County. The Bureau of Reclamation, state engineer and the CUP need to know that we won't tolerate arbitrary decisions in the future," Morris said. "The elected leaders have to be consulted and brought in on the decision-making process. We're not only talking of brown trout habitat in the Provo River, we're talking about the economic stability of our community and our lifestyle."
Dave Lambert, an attorney with Howard, Lewis and Peterson (a law firm on retainer with the county) said the commission would use litigation as a last resort.