Reclamation Completes Title Transfer of Major Water Conveyance Facility to Utah Water User Organization

Media Contact: Doug Hendrix, 801-524-3837
Stacey Carroll, 801-524-3813

For Release: October 02, 2006

The Bureau of Reclamation announced today that it has completed the transfer of title of a major water conveyance facility in Utah to the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy (Metro). The transfer affects a large underground pipeline that provides municipal and industrial water to much of the Wasatch Front metro area. The transfer also provides an easement to Metro and the Provo River Water Users Association (PRWUA) over the area where water is diverted into a pipeline below Deer Creek Dam.

"Today's signing of the deeds and easements makes it possible for us to transfer title to a key feature of the Provo River Project and culminate more than four years of effort by Reclamation, the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake and Sandy, the Provo River Water Users Association and other stakeholder groups," said William Rinne, Acting Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation. "As a result of completing this title transfer process, ownership and control of these vital municipal water supply facilities are now in the hands of local entities, rather than with the Federal government. Reclamation has been partners with these local water districts for more than 50 years and looks forward to continuing to work with these organizations on issues of mutual benefit."

As a result of the transfer of title, Metro will obtain ownership of the 42-mile Salt Lake Aqueduct and related facilities that Metro has operated and maintained for over 50 years, so the change in ownership should be transparent to their customers.

"The transfer of title of the Salt Lake Aqueduct will benefit Metro and the agencies and citizens Metro serves, and address the challenge of replacing the pipeline as it ages in the future. Metro appreciates the support of the elected officials and the efforts of the agencies involved in bringing about the transfer of ownership," said Mike Wilson, General Manager of the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake & Sandy.

Efforts for the title transfer have been underway for several years. Congressman Chris Cannon (R-Utah) introduced H.R. 3391 in the House of Representatives and Senator Bob Bennett (R-Utah) sponsored Senate Bill 1876. Both bills passed and President Bush signed H.R. 3391, the "Provo River Transfer Act," into law on Oct. 30, 2004; which ultimately became Public Law 108-382.

"Completing the transfer of the Salt Lake Aqueduct required that diverse groups and organizations come together in the interest of protecting water quality and providing additional water supplies to meet growing municipal and industrial needs in the Salt Lake and Sandy metropolitan areas," said Rinne. "This title transfer process is a model of how title transfers should be done and an example of cooperative conservation at its best."

Reclamation also plans to transfer title to the 21.5 mile Provo Reservoir Canal in Utah County to the Provo River Water Users Association at a later date.

The two water agencies, Metro and PRWUA, manage water resources from the Provo River Project which supplies water to users in Utah, Salt Lake, Wasatch and Summit counties.

Metro is a public agency governed by seven board members appointed by the city councils of Salt Lake City and Sandy City. Metro is a wholesale provider of water to Salt Lake City, Sandy City and the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District. In addition to providing water, Metro plays a role in planning, developing and managing water resources in Salt Lake County.

The Provo River Water Users Association provides a supplemental water supply to its shareholders, which include seven metropolitan water districts, a conservation district, two mutual water companies, and several irrigation and farming companies. The Association provides a significant portion of the municipal and agricultural water supply for more than one million people in Summit, Wasatch, Utah and Salt Lake counties.

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Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. Visit our website at and follow us on Twitter @USBR.