By Myrna Trauntvein
A water study will be done by Juab County that will determine needs for the next 50 years.
Sunrise Engineering Inc. and Juab County entered into an agreement on Monday for the company to provide engineering and technical services for the county with financial backing from East Juab County Water Conservancy District and the Central Utah Water Conservancy District.
The contract states that the engineering firm will identify the present and 50-year water needs for East Juab Water Conservancy District (EJWCD) and provide an inventory of existing water sources both surface and ground. It will also provide a utilization plan for existing resources.
"We decided that we needed to have a water study to support our ideas of what our water needs will be in the future," said Chad Winn, commission chairman.
At a work meeting with representatives of the engineering firm, representatives of EJWCD and the commission, some ideas became central and commissioners decided to use those parameters as the basis for the study.
There are several phases to the scope of work outlines by the three parties.
Phase 1 will consider of scoping meetings and project meetings.
"It is important to begin this study in the right direction," reads the agreement. "It is, therefore, recommended that the county conduct an initial scoping meeting."
During that meeting, at a yet to be determined date, Sunrise will make a presentation to explain the project objectives. Visual aids will be used and a question and answer period will be conducted to obtain input from the various irrigation boards and councils involved.
Three additional updates meetings to be held in the project area have been budgeted.
In phase 2, there will be maps, inventories and evaluations prepared.
"There are seven public water supply systems within the EJWCD according to the Utah State Division of Water Rights website," reads the agreement.
Those water supply systems include Nephi City, Nephi Irrigation, Levan, Mills Farmstead, Mona, Mona Irrigation, and Rocky Ridge.
"Sunrise will work with the county to distinguish between irrigation systems within the study area," the agreement stated. "The areas will be mapped out and identified in order to provide an understanding of the water resource systems involved."
"It is critical to quantify and categorize the water rights available within the district. Phase 3 will consist of the engineers researching the water right records for the municipalities of Rocky Ridge, Mona, Nephi, Levan and Mills.
Smaller private water entities will not be analyzed but an estimate of the total quantity of water right in the category will be provided.
The municipal, public, and larger water right data available will be listed on a spreadsheet and will be turned over to the district but only the water rights within the district will be analyzed. The Bureau of Reclamation water rights within the district will not be evaluated.
"The amount of water right surplus or shortage will be calculated based on the findings," said the agreement.
The rights will be separated between either Sevier or Utah Lake Drainage Basins.
The engineers are also charged to make an assessment of the 10,000 acre-feet of Utah Lake water and analyze the effects of a possible water right exchange with downstream users.
Phase 4 will quantify the developed source. Flow data would be available for the majority of the public water users and can be obtained from public records from the State of Utah Division of Water Rights or the USGS website.
Most private secondary water users do not meter their usage and so the value will need to be estimated.
Phase 5 calls for the engineers to project and estimate the county-wide need for the 50-year study period. The growth projections will be broken down into two categories which are municipal growth and county growth.
Sunrise will coordinate with each of the five municipalities to determine if each of the cities have a general plan.
"Growth projections can vary drastically and it is not intended that this study be performed as a growth projection study," the agreement states. "If each of the cities do not have a predetermined growth projection, growth projections from the State of Utah Planning and Budget or the Six County baseline projections will be used."
In order to establish a need for each of the municipalities, various aspects of each of the water systems will be analyzed. It will be necessary to look at each of the community's water right and water source.
"Although the storage is not necessarily vital, it may prove important to determine how much of the county-wide water right is stored in the county Vs. how much is being turned downstream," it states.
The study will look at each of the community's needs today Vs. 50 years from now. In order to simplify the determinations of the study, established growth rates will be used to determine each community's needs for three specific categories.
Those are residential, both indoor and outdoor; commercial, indoor and outdoor; and industrial.
Phase 6 will consist of a hydro geological study. The surface and groundwater study is meant to understand and quantify the water resource available for use in East Juab.
Phase 7, will allow for the analyzing of alternatives.
Phase 8 will be the implementation plan and each of the projects recommended will be rated from most to least critical.
Phase 9 will be the presentation of the draft, final and executive summary reports and Phase 10 will be the project presentation and public hearing.
Phase 11 will provide for additional engineering services such as laboratory tests, detailed water quality tests, well tests, and other studies recommended by the engineer and approved by the client.