Keys Recognizes Water 2025 Awards For Utah Water Conservation Projects

Media Contact: Don Merrill, 801-379-1074
Doug Hendrix, 801-524-3837

For Release: September 27, 2004

Bureau of Reclamation Commissioner John W. Keys today recognized the Water 2025 Challenge Grants awarded to the Emery Water Conservancy District in Castle Dale, the Provo Water Users Association, and the Springville Irrigation District. The grants will provide initial funding for long-term water needs along Utah's Wasatch Front and Emery Valley.

"These organizations all demonstrate initiative in the development of water saving technologies," said Commissioner Keys. "These grants support local, collaborative projects that will result in more efficient use of existing water supplies."

The Emery Water Conservancy District will install remote, automated controls at three dams and automate diversions on four creeks in the Green River Basin. The district also will install measuring weirs, upgrade weather stations, and establish an online irrigation advisory system. These improvements are expected to yield water savings of between 10 and 20 percent of the average water supply.

The Provo Water Users Association will meter, control and screen improvements to the existing Beaver Creek Diversion structure and canal improvements to the Weber-Provo Canal, resulting in anticipated conservation of approximately 4,200 acre feet each year, along with cost savings to the district.

The Springville Irrigation District will replace an open lateral in Wasatch County with 550 feet of pipe to reduce seepage. The District also will construct a new diversion structure and install a measuring weir to reduce water loss. It is anticipated that the endangered June sucker may benefit from these improvements, along with the expected water savings.

"Water 2025 has identified areas where potential crises and conflicts over water may occur," Keys noted, "and the Challenge Grant projects, such as those we recognize today here in Utah, have proposed innovative ways to head off problems by conserving and distributing this resource more efficiently and effectively."

The Water 2025 Challenge Grants, administered by the Bureau of Reclamation, provide local irrigation districts throughout the West with matching funds to support a variety of projects to make more efficient use of existing water supplies through water conservation, efficiency and water market projects. The Challenge Grant program focuses on meeting the goals identified in Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West. In late June, Interior Secretary Gale Norton approved more than $4 million dollars in water conservation grants under the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program. President George Bush has requested $21 million for the initiative in Fiscal Year 2005.

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