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District History

THE HISTORY OF WEBER BASIN WATER CONSERVANCY DISTRICT

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The United States Bureau of Reclamation began planning for the Weber Basin Project in 1942, and Congressional authorization of the Project was received in 1949. The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District (WBWCD) was created on June 26,1950, by a decree of the Second District Court of Utah, under the guidelines of the Utah Water Conservancy Act. The District was formed to act as the local sponsor of the federal project and to further supply water resources to the population within its boundaries.

The original project, including reservoirs, canals, irrigation and drainage systems and power plants were constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation from 1952 through 1969. The District entered into a repayment contract with the United States in 1952, which will be completed in approximately 2034, to repay all of the original Project costs and interest related to water supply. Funding for this repayment and the development of other water sources is from water sales and the original one mil property tax placed on the District at its inception.

The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District covers over 2,500 square miles within five counties: Davis, Weber, Morgan, Summit and a part of Box Elder. The District is governed by a nine member Board of Trustees: three from Davis County, three from Weber County, one from the upper Weber County, one from Morgan County, and one from Summit County. The General Manager for the District is Tage I. Flint. Under his direction, there are three Assistant General Managers, Mark Anderson, Scott Paxman and Darren Hess, six Department Managers: John Davis, Controller and Human Resources Manager; Sherrie Mobley, Administration Manager; Mark Clark, Maintenance Manager; Chris Hogge, Irrigation and Power Manager; Jon Parry, Engineering Manager and Brad Nelson, Municipal & Industrial Water Manager. The District currently employs approximately 90 employees.

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Weber Basin delivers approximately 220,000 acre-feet of water annually: 60,000 acre-feet for municipal and industrial uses and 160,000 acre-feet for irrigation, which includes secondary pressure irrigation systems. The District operates seven large storage reservoirs which store approximately 400,000 acre-feet of the District’s water. The reservoirs are: Causey, East Canyon, Lost Creek, Pineview, Smith & Morehouse, Wanship and Willard Bay. Due to the later priority of the District’s water rights on the river systems, it is necessary to have storage volume equal to a two year water supply. The District operates three hydro-power generation plants that can produce up to about 8 megawatts of electricity. Also operated and maintained are over 79 miles of canals, a trans-mountain tunnel, two multi-county aqueducts, hundreds of miles of raw water and culinary pipelines, and nine major pumping stations.

The District is unique for its ability to serve five classifications of water service, including agricultural water (flood and pressure), drinking water, industrial supplies, groundwater replacement and pressurized/ secondary water. The groundwater replacement water being for the areas east of the Wasatch Front, including upper Weber County, Morgan County and Summit County.

Three drinking water treatment plants and related distribution systems were also constructed by the District between 1959 to 1962. They are all undergoing extensive rehabilitation and  modernization projects to meet new EPA drinking water standards. The District currently provides culinary water to approximately 425,000 people in the five counties. In addition to the treatment plants, the District operates 17 deep, large capacity wells to increase supply and capacity to the District’s customers. Depths are up to 1,200 feet and capacities up to 5,000 gallons per minute. Weber Basin Water acts as a wholesaler of drinking water to cities, and other districts and agencies. These entities then deliver to the tap of individual users.

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Future issues for the District center around development of sufficient water supplies and facilities to meet the needs of the growing population within its boundaries. Water conservation plays an increasingly important role as new sources are likely to be difficult and expensive to develop. Water demands on the District are projected to double in the next 40 years even with the assumption that the existing per capita use will reduce significantly. These projections, along with the constant need to upgrade and rehabilitate existing infrastructure, push the financial needs projections to one half billion dollars over the next 30 years. Beyond conservation, new projects will include completion of groundwater drilling, change of use of local river supplies and probably a large regional importation project.

Willard Canal Lining Project

The project is under the direction of the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and the WBWCD. The intent of this undertaking is to install a concrete liner within the Willard Canal and to add flow measurement equipment. To accomplish this, heavy machinery, including trackhoes, bulldozers, and trucks, will be used on existing canal roads to excavate and compact the canal bed, which will then be lined with concrete. The existing canal features, including culverts, bridges, headgates, the diversion dam, and the pumping station, will not be disturbed during the completion of this project.

The project area is generally rectangular shaped and begins on the north side of 1200 South Street and proceeds north along the Willard Canal, ending at the bridge at 700 South Street, in the community of Marriott-Slaterville, Utah. The proposed project is situated in the northeast part of Section 24 and the southeast portion of Section 13, T6N R2W. The inventory area is about 2,500 ft long north to south and about 210 ft wide east to west. The inventory included about 12 acres of private land. The canal prism itself is on BOR land.

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The Willard Canal, is located within the project area. The route has been previously documented and determined eligible for inclusion on the National Register. The portion of the canal covered by this report extends from 1200 South Street north to 700 South Street. An updated site form was prepared to include several features associated with the canal. The Willard Canal is primarily of earthen lined construction, with a number of concrete culverts and diversion structures located along the alignment. The canal segment is about 2,500 feet in length and roughly 84 feet wide from upper bank to upper bank. The inventory results including the noting of two culverts, four manhole drains, a float well, and a pump house with a small substation, within the boundaries of the proposed development.

Remnants of two concrete culverts were noted along the inventoried canal segment. Culvert 1 extends under 700 South Street and the concrete pipe opening is roughly 2-ft in diameter. Culvert 2, oriented east-west is visible on the west side of the canal. It is situated about 200-ft south of 700 South Street. The concrete culvert is about 4-ft tall with a 2.5-ft diameter opening.

Four man-hole drains and a float well were noted within the inventoried segment of the Willard Canal. One man-hole drain is situated in the northern portion of the canal segment about 96 feet south of the 700 South Street bridge crossing on the east side of the canal, one is associated with Pumping Plant #2 on the west side of the canal just north of the plant, the third is located roughly 530-ft south of the pump plant, and the last one is about 408-ft north of the 1200 South Street crossing. The latter two are on the east side of the canal. The float well is situated on the east side of the canal just south of the pump plant and substation. It has a conical roof and corrugated metal siding.

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The most prominent features of the pumping plant (Pumping Plant #2) are the three pump motors noted on the south top end of the plant. The motors rest on the surface while the pump chamber and pump are inside the plant structure below the motors. They extend approximately 32-ft deep in the pump housing into the canal. There is a float switch near the pump chamber that shuts the pump down when the water level drops below 4,244-ft in the float pipe. Two 12-ft by 20-ft gravity by-pass features are set on each side of the pump motors, with the outlet transition on the north side of the pumping plant, and the inlet transition on the south side of the plant. Ladders noted on the north and south sides of the pumping plant provide access to the pump chamber and pump. A roughly 5-ft diameter manhole drain is situated about 35-ft north of the pump plant on the northwest side of the canal. A float well topped with a corrugated metal cylinder and roof, measuring about 5-ft in diameter is situated about 40-ft south of the pumping plant on the southeast side of the canal.

The west boundary of a fenced enclosure housing a substation/ switchyard is located approximately 15-ft from the pumping plant on the east side of the canal. The switchyard enclosure is 34-ft e-w by 40-ft n-s in size. The enclosure contains transformers, the switch and take-off structure, electrical boxes, circuit breakers and switchers, fuses, and other related equipment. The substation provides power to and control of the adjacent pump plant. Dispersal of water is regulated through the pump plant by the substation. The substation has been in place since the completion of the canal and pump plant and the equipment has been updated through regular maintenance. The interior ground surface of the substation has been covered with gravel.

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