Board seeking input to get Narrows water despite roadblocks

Board seeking input to get

Narrows water despite roadblocks


By James Tilson

Staff writer

Mar. 29, 2018


MANTI—The Sanpete Water Conservancy Board seemed to run out of options concerning the Narrows Project.

Yet the board decided on Thursday, March 15, to get public input on the possible cost of “getting the water over the mountain” to fulfill the longstanding goal of the Narrows Project.

Admitting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the U.S. Army Corp of Engineers were not going to allow a dam and reservoir, the board members discussed the best option for getting the water down to the Sanpete Valley.

A plan to take the water and charge it into the water aquifer and withdraw it later via wells was discarded as being not economically feasible.

And a plan to pipe the water down to Gunnison Reservoir for storage via existing creeks and irrigation lines has the problem of what to do with the water in the spring when those creeks are already full.

However, as County Assessor Kenneth Bench (presiding over the meeting as chair Ed Sunderland could not be present) declared when discussing the costs associated with the storage plan, “$324 per acre foot sounds like a lot of money, but when you’re buying water rights, that’s pretty cheap.”

The board decided that before they could make a recommendation for action, they would need to seek public input.

The first opportunity would be during the Utah Water Users Workshop in St. George this week (March 19-21). The board members would meet the Gunnison Irrigation Company board members there to discuss the Narrows Project and possible alternatives.

The next opportunity would be to address the Mayors and Commissioners Meeting in April to get input from elected officials from around the county.

Bench admitted that the current attitude from the EPA and Army Corp of Engineers makes the Narrows Project impossible right now.

But they have not given up on it.

“Maybe in my grandchildren’s time, we can get this solved,” he said.