a group investigating the possibility of drilling a tunnel from Draper to Wasatch Front ski resorts says that water produced by the tunnel is already spoken for.
But a separate group with the confusingly similar name, Supera has filed a claim on 240,000 acre-feet of the water.To counter Supera's claim, however, more than 100 groups or individuals have filed protests, saying the water belongs to Salt Lake City and other entities.
Undaunted, "Supera, an interlocal cooperative" is holding fast to its claim to the water. But no one seems to know much about the group, a Utah County-based organization.
Supera is headed by Paul Clint and Richard Wilson, two promoters, officials said. The group paid $450 in September to file a claim on 240,000 acre-feet of water in the canyons. The claim is an apparent attempt to earn money from the 20-mile tunnel project, which, among other things, may help bring water to the valley.
Wasatch Super Tunnel officials said the group calls itself an interlocal cooperative because it received support from the cities of Goshen, Utah County, and Mona, Juab County.
"If you find out who they (Supera) are, let me know," said Terry Holzworth, Salt Lake County's associate director of public works.
Holzworth said Supera is not to be confused with the Wasatch Super Tunnel Agency, a group composed of leaders in Draper, Salt Lake County, the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District and Salt Lake County Service Area No. 3.
The latter group believes all water in the mountains already has been allocated, he said.
But the names sound enough alike that some people are confused.
"All water taken from Big Cottonwood Creek and Little Cottonwood Creek would be a direct theft of water and water rights belonging to others," says a letter written by Edward Higbee, a court-appointed commissioner of water in the canyons. Higbee's letter was sent as a protest to Salt Lake County commissioners.
Supera officials could not be reached for comment.
The proposed tunnel was announced last summer as a way to speed traffic to ski resorts. Greater access to water and minerals might be a byproduct of the project, officials said.