The Sanpete Water Conservancy District is now so confident it will win Bureau of Reclamation approval for a dam to boost water supplies, it has already made application for a loan to fund the so-called Narrows project.
All that apparently remains, said district chairman David Peterson, is final approval of the project's environmental impact statement.That statement will be reviewed during public hearings at Mt. Pleasant City Hall and the Carbon County Courthouse commission chambers 7 p.m. Thursday, April 23.
The projected cost is estimated at $12 million to $14 million.
The plan for the project preferred by the water conservancy district, Peterson said, includes construction of a dam and reservoir on Gooseberry Creek, about nine miles east of Fairview, Sanpete County, and rehabilitation of a tunnel constructed in the early 1930s.
The dam would divert water down Fairview Canyon to accommodate construction of several channels, development of a fishery, and other recreational facilities at the reservoir.
The project would supplement the existing water supply and bring in nearly 5,000 acre-feet of water that could be used to service 15,000 acres of farmland.
The water supply would also directly benefit the cities of Fairview, Mt. Pleasant, Moroni and Spring City by bringing additional water stores on line for use on lawns and gardens.
The project was originally started in the early 1930s, when Sanpete County irrigators filed on the Gooseberry Creek water. A tunnel was built at the Narrows in Fairview Canyon in addition to some preliminary work.
But two major things hindered completion of the project - elimination of funding because of World War II and a disagreement between Carbon and Sanpete counties over ownership of water rights.
Carbon County eventually laid claim to the Gooseberry Water, which rises on the Price River watershed. Sanpete retained the rights to the water in a decision made five years ago.