Emigration Canyon and groundwater pumping in Utah: What's at risk?

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  • Wolflead6 , 00
    Jan. 4, 2019 9:23 a.m.

    To Embarrassed Utahn: Would appreciate evidence of what you describe so it can be stopped. Such actions are against watering guidelines for Emigration Oaks. Have you ever actually driven through The Oaks and looked at the landscaping? My yard has no lawn or landscaping. What grows does so on its own and seems to do quite well. We still have moose, deer, bobcats, badgers, porcupines, coyotes in the area, Have not seen bears, but have seen cougar tracks along Freeze Creek.
    Please don't generalize Oaks residents because of a few purported wasteful individuals. We are as concerned about the Canyon environment as anyone.

  • Misseleer71 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 4, 2019 2:37 a.m.

    I don't think there are very many people left that know this river at all. This abstract view of water elevation and bottom of the well water is by someone who has no idea of what this city creek river is. It has never dried up to a dry bed as some think, this is a new and important event that is truly a warning of the aquifers supplying Utah with many of the cities are pumping out of the ground will also be drying up and without warning we will not have water in this valley at all. City creek was a year round spring well coming from much higher elevations farther east from the Uintah range and splitting above the city creek and going into the area of city of North Salt Lake below the gravel pits above the state capital building coming out as a hot springs draining across the Beck Street road then northerly to the GSL. That whole region where the refineries are is were all wet lands and Marshes until they merged I-15 with US89/91 north and south then buried the hot springs drainage below all the new roads they put in late 1960's. There is still evidence of the hot springs because that is why beck street is always foggy area in the winter and its high humidity.

  • old cuss 101 Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 10:23 a.m.

    The comments attributed to Don Barnett are disingenuous.

    A canyon watershed is somewhat like a bucket of water, but maybe more like a pipe full of water on a slope. There is a pressure gradient, the pressure (water level in a well) rising as you go down hill. If you poke holes (springs and wells) in the side of the pipe, it diminishes from the total. Moving a well further from the stream may have a local effect, but it doesn't eliminate the withdrawal from the general aquifer. Higher elevation use has an effect on lower elevation conditions.

    1872 water rights certainly were drawn from the surface stream out of the mouth of the canyon. For discussion sake, consider letting the early District rights stand in that way and go dry with the stream for much of the year.

    One hopes that the new developments have sewer systems conveying waste to the city rather than drain fields. But such confirms a drain from the aquifer.

    Note that summer sprinkler irrigation water goes mostly to evaporation, not recharge to the ground waters.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 8:49 a.m.

    My solution? Buy back all the big houses in Emigration Canyon using eminent domain and bulldoze them and return the land back to the scrub oak, deer, elk, cougars, bears, moose and all other animals and restrict development in the canyon. Turn it into a wilderness area or something like that.

    That way the district wouldn't have to pump any groundwater.

    I remember the days you could hike Emigration Canyon and only the houses at the bottom of the canyon were there. Now there are houses up to the top of the canyon.

    Of course my wish is a pipe dream and won't happen. Too many rich folk up there.

  • embarrassed Utahn! Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 3, 2019 7:35 a.m.

    Just because you can afford to waste water doesn’t mean you should be able to! I watch my wealthy neighbors water their lawns for hours daily. Raising water costs is not the solution; careless rich people will always be able to abuse the privilege of fresh clean water.

  • stevo123 Driggs, ID
    Jan. 2, 2019 7:08 p.m.

    There should be no more water permits issued for new building, The upper river has (had) Bonneville Cutthroat Trout, the scarce State fish.