Federal funding to help repair Utah’s water infrastructure


Faced with relentless drought in Utah, communities are looking to repair and improve their water infrastructure. Recent federal funding supports these projects.

The US Department of the Interior recently announced $420 million in funding for rural water supply projects across the country, including $240 million for aging infrastructure.

Utah is seeking to spend federal funding to fix aging dams, aqueducts, water treatment plants and canals. Repairing these systems in Utah can help deliver more water to Nevada’s Lake Powell and Lake Mead, helping Utah meet water delivery obligations agreed to under the Colorado River Compact. to other states downstream.

The more than $70 million allocated to Utah will also help other water systems, including the Great Salt Lake watershed. The Great Salt Lake reached a new historic low last fall and is expected to drop up to two more feet this year, due to drought and water diversions for agriculture and urban use.

Utah plans to replace the Watkins earth dam siphon in Willard Bay, ensuring the availability of fresh water for industry, agriculture and critical Great Salt Lake wetland habitat, including the Harold Crane Waterfowl Management Area west of Ogden.

Other water infrastructure projects include the David Aqueduct, which supplies water to towns and farms along the northern Wasatch Front, and a new water intake structure at Deer Creek Dam in Wasatch County, ensuring a reliable supply of water to users of the Salt Lake City Aqueduct. .

Eastern Utah will also benefit from federal funding, with a plan to convert Vernal’s 12-mile Steinaker Service Canal to a pipeline. This conversion aims to save water, reduce maintenance costs and protect against the risk of channel rupture.

This story is made possible by the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that brings together news, education and media organizations to help inform people about the plight of the Great Salt Lake – and what can be done to make a difference before it is too late.

Amy Joi O’Donoghue’s full story can be viewed at www.deseret.com

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