Background

WBWCD manages easements and fee title properties for the US Bureau of Reclamation’s (BOR) Weber Basin Project as well as WBWCD owned facilities. These properties and easements were procured so that infrastructure such as dams, canals, pipelines, pump stations and other infrastructure could be constructed and accessed for operations and maintenance as well as future repair and replacement or upgrade.

The facilities that WBWCD owns and/or manages are critical to the water supply for 5 counties in Northern Utah including Davis County, Weber County, Morgan County, Summit County and southern Box Elder County. Protection of WBWCD managed easements & right of way is vital to maintaining a reliable water supply for the region.

Construction of the Davis Aqueduct circa 1955

What is the difference between an easement, right of way or fee title property?

Easement or Right of Way - An easement (sometimes referred to as a right of way) is a grant of permission from a landowner that allows WBWCD or the Bureau of Reclamation to install, access, operate, maintain and replace water related infrastructure across the landowner property.

Fee Title Property – Fee title property is a parcel that is owned by the Bureau of Reclamation or WBWCD.  These properties were acquired to allow for the construction of water related infrastructure and for continued access, operation, maintenance and replacement of this infrastructure.  

Can I install improvements across easement or fee title property?

Certain improvements can be made on Bureau of Reclamation or WBWCD easements or fee title property by filling out an encroachment application form and by going through the proper review process.  For easements or right of way, an Easement Encroachment Agreement is required.  For fee title properties, a License Agreement is required. All applications are considered on a case by case basis to ensure that:

  • WBWCD/Bureau of Reclamation Infrastructure is not damaged or compromised
  • The proposed work will not compromise water quality or water flow
  • The proposed work will not interfere with future access or WBWCD’s ability to access and maintain the infrastructure
  • The proposed work will not increase liability or cost to WBWCD/Bureau of Reclamation

Some examples of encroachments that may be permitted are:

  • Utility crossings that are perpendicular (70-90 degrees) to the existing feature/easement
  • Shallow rooted landscape plants (no trees allowed)
  • Shallow sprinkling systems
  • Non-Reinforced Driveways (depending on the type of pipe/infrastructure being crossed)

In cases where fee title property will be used, the Bureau of Reclamation or WBWCD may charge a land use fee for the encroachment.

How do I deal with an easement that is on land that I am developing?

The best practice is to leave easements as green space or similar use areas.  The Bureau of Reclamation’s document “Engineering and O&M Guidelines for Crossings” is a great resource for understanding what is allowed with existing easements or fee title property. A link to download this document is located below.

 

EASEMENT LOCATIONS USBR & WBWCD INFRASTRUCTURE

Aqueducts – Davis Aqueduct & Weber Aqueduct

The Davis Aqueduct runs from the bifurcation structure located near Weber Canyon and runs south for approximately 23 miles to its terminus on Center Street in North Salt Lake.

 

The Weber Aqueduct runs from the bifurcation structure located near Weber Canyon and runs north a distance of 5 miles to WBWCD’s water treatment facility located near 4800 S Old Post Road in Ogden, Utah.

The Davis Aqueduct and Weber Aqueduct are typically within easements, so an Easement Encroachment Agreement is required to encroach on or across the easement. Following are links to download applications, forms and information regarding the Davis Aqueduct & Weber Aqueduct:


Portion of Davis Aqueduct Exposed for Structural Bridging

Weber Basin Project Canals – Layton Canal, Gateway Canal, Willard Canal & Ogden Valley Canal

WBWCD operates and maintains four major canals that were constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) as part of the Weber Basin Project:

  • Layton Canal- Layton Canal begins at Slaterville Diversion in Weber County just downstream of the confluence of the Weber and Ogden rivers and runs south 18 miles through Davis County to Syracuse, Utah.
  • Gateway Canal – Gateway canal begins at the Stoddard Diversion near Stoddard, Utah and runs approximately 9 miles to the Gateway Tunnel near Mountain Green, Utah.
  • Willard Canal – The Willard Canal begins at Slaterville Diversion in Weber County just downstream of the confluence of the Weber and Ogden rivers and runs north for 11 miles to Willard Bay reservoir located in southern Box Elder County, Utah.
  • Ogden Valley Canal – The Ogden Valley Canal begins at a diversion off of the South Fork of the Ogden River east of Huntsville, Utah and runs approximately 9 miles to Eden, Utah.

Typically, the above canals are on Fee-Title property, owned by the BOR so a License Agreement is required to encroach on or across the property.  Following are links to download applications, forms and information regarding the Weber Basin Project Canals:

Other Weber Basin Project Features – Dams, Hydropower Facilities, Pump Stations, Irrigation Laterals, Land Drains, Ditches and other Project Features

The Weber Basin Project includes various other features that were constructed as part of the Project including Dams, Hydropower Facilities, Pump Stations, Irrigation Laterals, Land Drains, Ditches and other Project Features. These facilities may be located on Easements or Fee Title Property.  A License Agreement (for Fee Title Property) or an Easement Encroachment Agreement (for easements) will be required for encroachment.  Following are links to download applications, forms and information regarding Other Weber Basin Project Features:

 

WBWCD Owned Easements and Properties

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District owns various properties and easements that are vital to the operation, maintenance and installation of water treatment facilities, water wells, pipelines and other water related facilities.  The encroachment application process is handled directly with WBWCD for these properties.  Following are links to download applications, forms and information regarding WBWCD owned easements and properties: