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 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 Weber Basin Project was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation from 1952 through 1969 and includes canals, power plants, irrigation and drainage systems, and six major reservoirs on the Ogden and Weber rivers. Subsequent to the original Project, the District constructed a seventh dam, Smith and Morehouse. Four of the seven reservoirs—Wanship, Lost Creek, East Canyon, and Smith and Morehouse—regulate the flow of the Weber River before it emerges from its mountain watershed to the Wasatch Front. Causey and Pineview reservoirs regulate the flow of the Ogden River before it emerges from its watershed and joins the Weber River. Willard Bay, the largest reservoir, is an off-stream reservoir that stores water from the lower reaches of both the Ogden and Weber rivers for uses and exchanges on the Wasatch Front.
The complex transmission system that was constructed as part of the Project includes facilities such as Gateway Canal and Tunnel, Weber and Davis aqueducts, Ogden Valley Canal and Diversion Dam, Slaterville Diversion Dam, and Stoddard Diversion Dam as well as dozens of secondary reservoirs and many miles of canals, pipelines, and other laterals. Hydropower stations located at Causey Dam, Wanship Dam, and Gateway Canal generate power for District consumption and excess power sales.
In 1952 and 1961, the voters within its boundaries authorized the District to enter into contracts with the United States to repay the original construction costs and the ongoing operation and maintenance of the federal project. The funding for those costs is generated through water sales and the original ad valorem tax approved by the voters in both elections.
In addition to the original federal project, the District continues to expand the necessary water supplies and infrastructure to deliver water to the growing population. District projects and facilities include four water treatment plants along the Wasatch Front and Snyderville Basin area, Smith & Morehouse Dam, Causey Hydropower Plant, the Layton Canal pipeline extension, wells, aquifer storage and recovery, and hundreds of miles of distribution and transmission lines.