Wasatch County officials approached Gov. Norm Bangerter Wednesday about financial support for a $20 million sprinkler irrigation system they say will be needed once Jordanelle Reservoir starts soaking up water supplies on the upper Provo River.
County Commission representatives met with the governor Wednesday and hope to meet with other state and federal water officials about a plan to replace flood irrigation in Wasatch County with a pressurized sprinkler irrigation system.Jordanelle and other features of the Central Utah Project will have an adverse affect on irrigation water supplies in the county, but water exchanges could benefit the CUP, flows on Daniels Creek and Wasatch County water users, said David L. Wilson, who spoke for the County Commission Wednesday and represents Wasatch and Summit counties on the board of the Central Utah Water Conservancy District, the CUP's state sponsor.
Wilson said a CUP plan to buy 3,400 acre-feet of Daniels Creek water for $7 million could be replaced with a water exchange from Wasatch County and the money could be used to offset part of the expense of building the $20 million irrigation system.
The development of Deer Creek Reservoir and Jordanelle Dam, now under construction 6 miles north of Heber, restricted Wasatch County's options for developing its water rights, he said. The flood irrigation system in the county is also terribly inefficient, but the county could get by with less water if the irrigation system was piped.
"This is the best solution to our problem. It has almost unanimous approval of the people in our valley," Wilson said.
Bangerter said any involvement by the state should be coordinated through the State Engineer and the director of the Division of Water Resources.
Wilson said those officials will be hearing about the plan, as will members of Utah's congressional delegation and the Bureau of Reclamation, contractor for the CUP.