Safety of Dams Work Entails Water Deliveries

Media Contact: Don Merrill, 801-379-1074

For Release: August 17, 2007

As part of Reclamation's Safety of Dams (SOD) Program, Deer Creek Dam is undergoing modifications to strengthen the dam foundation and spillway. Reclamation regularly inspects dams throughout the 17 Western states as part of the SOD Program to identify and correct deficiencies and improve seismic performance.

Deer Creek Dam, the main feature of the Provo River Project, was constructed from 1938 to 1941 and is located in Provo Canyon near the city of Provo, Utah. Water from Deer Creek Reservoir provides both municipal and irrigation water to large portions of both Utah and Salt Lake Counties.

Modifications to the dam are being completed in three phases. Phase II work which is currently underway, and Phase III work both involve improvements to the spillway. Lowering the water level in the reservoir is necessary to allow the work to be completed. In a cooperative effort, Provo River Water Users Association (PRWUA) and Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD), the operator of Jordanelle Reservoir, are making deliveries to PRWUA shareholders and CUWCD customers from Deer Creek Reservoir to facilitate lowering the reservoir level. As a result, the level of Deer Creek Reservoir is falling at a much more rapid rate than is Jordanelle Reservoir at this time. Additionally, Deer Creek Reservoir has been affected by low spring runoff, just 48% of normal, and increased water demands due to above average July temperatures.

Currently Deer Creek Reservoir is approximately 53 feet below full elevation, and may be drawn down another 10 or 20 feet before the summer irrigation season is over. Releases have been made from Jordanelle Reservoir upstream on the Provo River, since early spring with water acquired by the June Sucker Recovery Program for the benefit of the endangered June Sucker. However these releases have not further reduced the reservoir level at Deer Creek. The releases for the June Sucker will extend through the summer in part, to protect lower river aquatic habitat.

Please contact Keith Denos of PRWUA at (801) 797-8770 for more information regarding the operation of Deer Creek Reservoir or Rich Tullis of CUWCD at (801) 226-7100 for information regarding the operation of Jordanelle Reservoir.

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