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General Description| Plan| Development| Benefits


General Description

The Weber Basin Project conserves and utilizes, for multiple purposes, streamflows in the natural drainage basin of the Weber River, including the basin of the Ogden River, its principal tributary. Other areas encompassed are those lying between the west slope of the Wasatch Mountains and the east shore of Great Salt Lake.

Water resources of the area were extensively developed before initiation of the Weber Basin Project. Prior Federal reclamation developments include the Weber River Project with Echo Reservoir on Weber River, and the Ogden River Project with Pineview Reservoir and conveyance facilities on the Ogden River. The Weber River and Provo River Projects diverted water from the high reaches of Weber River for multiple uses on the Provo River. Numerous private developments preceded the Federal projects. The Weber Basin Project supplements all of these earlier undertakings and the project`s operations are integrated with them in approaching full development of the area`s water resources. In full operation, the project provides an average of 166,000 acre-feet of water annually for irrigation and 50,000 acre-feet for municipal and industrial use in a heavily populated and industrialized area.

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Streamflow for project purposes is regulated by four new project reservoirs and two enlarged reservoirs, and the correlated operation of project reservoirs and the existing Echo Reservoir. Three of the six project reservoirs, Rockport Lake (formerly Wanship Reservoir), Lost Creek, and East Canyon (enlarged), as well as Echo Reservoir, regulate the flow of Weber River before it emerges from its mountain watershed into the east shore area. Two project reservoirs, Causey and Pineview (enlarged), regulate the Ogden River flow before it emerges from the mountains to join Weber River. Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir (formerly Willard), is the lowest reservoir of the system. It receives water from Weber River, diverted at the Slaterville Diversion Dam below the mouth of Ogden River and conveyed through the Willard Canal. Water is returned from Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir to Weber River as needed over the same route, facilitated by two pumping plants.

Facility Descriptions

Weber River System

The three project reservoirs on the Weber River and the river`s tributary creeks are operated to supply water for irrigation, municipal, and industrial purposes to the east shore area and for power production at the Wanship and Gateway Powerplants. In addition, the reservoirs provide water for irrigation, domestic, ad miscellaneous uses to lands in mountain valleys along the Weber River, Lost creek, and East Canyon Creek, as well as for flood control and maintenance of streamflows to support game fish.

The highest lands to be irrigated in the Weber River Valley are near the town of Oakley above Rockport Lake. These lands receive water exchanged from Rockport Lake and delivered through existing canals and ditches, some of which have been enlarged and extended as a project undertaking. Other mountain valley lands receive project water above Rockport Lake, Lost Creek, and East Canyon Reservoirs. Delivery is made through the Weber River, Lost Creek, East Canyon Creek, the Gateway Canal, and existing canals and ditches. Lands above the reservoirs receive water from wells, which is exchanged for water released from the reservoirs.

Stoddard Diversion Dam, on the Weber River about 4 miles downstream from Morgan, Utah, diverts water into the Gateway Canal which extends 8.5 miles westward on the south side of Weber Canyon. Gateway Canal has an initial capacity of 700 cubic feet per second. About 8.5 miles from the canal head of the inlet to the Gateway Tunnel, the portion of the diverted water that is surplus or is required for prior downstream rights is turned into the penstock of the Gateway Powerplant and returned through the plant to the Weber River. The remaining water is conveyed through the 3.3-mile-long Gateway Tunnel to the west face of he Wasatch Mountains, where bifurcation works divert it to the Weber Aqueduct to the north and the Davis Aqueduct to the south.

Weber Aqueduct is 4.2 miles long with a capacity of 80 cubic feet per second, conveying irrigation water to land on the Uintah Bench and municipal and industrial water to Ogden and adjacent communities. Part of the irrigation water is pumped to lands above the aqueduct. The remainder is delivered by an existing high-pressure distribution system. At the terminal of the aqueduct, water is delivered to a water treatment plant from which it is distributed to the city of Ogden and surrounding communities.

Davis Aqueduct extends to the south along the foot of the Wasatch Mountains about 22 miles to North Salt Lake City and has an initial capacity of 355 cubic feet per second. It carries irrigation water to lands below the aqueduct. It also conveys water for municipal and industrial use by communities in Davis County. Six pump stations and discharge lines lift water to land above the aqueduct.

Ogden River System

Causey Reservoir, on the South Fork of Ogden River, provides supplemental irrigation water for mountain valley lands near Huntsville and Eden. Irrigation water released from the reservoir is diverted from the South Fork of Ogden river by the Ogden Valley Diversion Dam and conveyed through the Ogden Valley Canal to lands in the Huntsville-Eden area.

The enlarged capacity in Pineview Reservoir increases the irrigation supply for lands north and south of Ogden River in the area of the Ogden River Project. It also provides irrigation water for diversion from the lower Weber River at the Slaterville Diversion Dam and makes additional water available for municipal and industrial use in the Ogden area.

Water available to the Weber Basin Project at the Slaterville Diversion Dam consists of both the natural flows of Weber ad Ogden Rivers not required for prior rights, and of storage releases from the upstream reservoirs. The natural flows are surplus high flows not regulated by upstream reservoirs, winter flows released through upstream powerplants, return flows, and other river inflows below upstream reservoirs. Water is diverted at the Slaterville Diversion Dam into Willard Canal or the Layton Canal intake channel. Water diverted into Willard Canal during the nonirrigation season is conveyed 8 miles to the Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir, where it is stored. When upstream supplies are insufficient to supply water demands below the Slaterville Diversion Dam, water is pumped from the reservoir at Willard Pumping Plant No. 1. By reverse flow through Willard Canal, it is either returned to the Slaterville Diversion Dam through Willard Pumping Plant No. 2 or released at turnouts in the canal. Willard Canal has a capacity of 1,050 cubic feet per second for gravity flow from the dam to the Plain City Canal turnout, and 950 cubic feet per second from the turnout to the reservoir. In the reverse direction, the capacity for pumped flows is 500 cubic feet per second from the reservoir to the turnouts and 300 cubic feet per second from the turnouts to Slaterville Diversion Dam.

Water diverted through the Layton intake channel is delivered to Hooper Canal and the project`s Layton Pumping Plant. Water is pumped from the intake channel into Layton Canal or Wilson Canal. Layton Canal, a project feature, extends 9 miles in a generally southerly direction. Under an emergency loan project, the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District constructed a 60-inch pipeline that conveys water pumped from an equalizing reservoir near Layton Canal into the Davis-Weber Canal, thus allowing the district to exchange water from Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir during periods of drought. Water exchanged is held in upstream reservoirs or diverted through the Gateway Canal and Tunnel.

Nine deep wells provide emergency standby service, supplemental water in times of drought, and peaking supply for high industrial and municipal demands.

Arthur V. Watkins Dam

Flows that cannot be controlled by the mountain reservoirs, as well as winter releases through the powerplants, are diverted from Weber river at the Slaterville Diversion dam west of Ogden and carried 8 miles north in the Willard Canal to Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir. The earth-lined canal has an initial capacity of 1,050 cubic feet per second. About 5 miles from the canal heading, a turnout diverts water into the Plain City Canal, a privately owned irrigation system.

Twelve miles northwest of Ogden on the shore of the Great Salt Lake, Arthur V. Watkins Dam is an offstream structure with a structural height of 36 feet. The dam is about 14.5 miles long in a rough rectangle, contains about 17 million cubic yards of material, and encloses a reservoir of 215,120 acre-foot capacity. Its siphon spillway has a capacity of 2,000 cubic feet per second. The 300-cubic-foot-per-second capacity outlet works functions only as a reservoir drain.

During the irrigation season, water can be pumped by Willard Pumping Plants No. 1 and No. 2 back through the Willard Canal from Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir to Slaterville Diversion Dam and on into the Layton Pumping Plant intake channel for irrigation of lands lying along the shores of Great Salt Lake.

Slaterville Diversion Dam

Slaterville Diversion Dam is on the Weber River about 2 miles west of Ogden. It is a reinforced concrete structure with a river regulating section controlled by six 25-foot-wide radial gates. It diverts water into Willard Canal, Slaterville Canal, and the Layton Pumping Plant intake channel.

Layton Canal, Pumping Plant, and Laterals

The Layton Canal conveys Weber River water southward about 9 miles from the Slaterville Diversion Dam. The canal has an initial headgate capacity of 180 cubic feet per second. The Layton Pumping Plant, located at the foot of a bench to the south of Slaterville Diversion Dam, pumps project water into Layton Canal. With four units and an installed horsepower capacity of 1,050, it lifts water an average height of 25 feet at the rate of 250 cubic feet per second.

Pineview Dam

Pineview Dam, on the Ogden River about 7 miles east of Ogden, was constructed by the Bureau of Reclamation as part of the Ogden River Project in 1937. The original structure, 103 feet high, created a 44,00-acre-foot reservoir. Under the Weber Basin Project, the dam was enlarged to a height of 137 feet, increasing the reservoir capacity to 110,150 acre-feet. The 10,00-cubic-foot-per-second-capacity spillway is controlled by two radial gates. The maximum discharge capacity of the outlet works is 2,450 cubic feet per second. The increased storage capacity in Pineview Reservoir provides supplemental irrigation and municipal water within the Ogden River Project area and, together with Arthur V. Watkins Reservoir storage, provides water to irrigate new land in the Willard and Layton Canal areas, and to replace natural flows of Weber River that are diverted at Stoddard Diversion Dam into Gateway Canal.

Causey Dam

Causey Dam is on the South Fork of the Ogden River about 11 miles upstream from Pineview Dam. A zoned earthfill structure, it has a height of 218 feet and a crest length of 845 feet. Causey Reservoir has a total capacity of 7,870 acre-feet with a surface area of 136 acres.

Weber Aqueduct

Weber Aqueduct, extending about 4 miles northward from the outlet of Gateway Tunnel, has a capacity of 80 cubic feet per second. It carries an average of 9,900 acre-feet of irrigation water annually to the Uintah Bench and about 19,000 acre-feet of municipal and industrial water annually to Ogden and adjacent cities. A complete pressure pipe lateral system distributes project water to the Uintah Bench lands.

Davis Aqueduct

Davis Aqueduct, extending 21.6 miles southward from the outlet of Gateway Tunnel, has an initial capacity of 355 cubic feet per second. It conveys an average of 51,000 acre-feet annually for irrigation of foothill lands between Weber Canyon and North Salt Lake, and approximately 21,000 acre-feet annually for municipal and industrial use in 15 communities. Several lateral systems, mostly pressure pipe, serve approximately 16,000 acres in the Davis Aqueduct service area.

Stoddard Diversion Dam

The Stoddard Diversion Dam is a concrete gate structure on the Weber River 4 miles northwest of Morgan. It has a river regulating section 110 feet wide, controlled by four 25-foot-wide radial gates. This structure diverts up to 700 cubic feet per second of water supplied from the upper Weber river storage and natural flow into Gateway Canal.

Gateway Canal System

Gateway Canal extends from Stoddard Diversion Dam westward about 8.5 miles on the south side of the Weber Canyon. Its initial capacity is 700 cubic feet per second. At the end of the canal, a portion of the water may be diverted through the Gateway Powerplant to the Weber River. The remaining water is conveyed through the 3.3-mile Gateway Tunnel to the west face of the Wasatch Mountains, where the water is divided between the Weber and Davis Aqueducts.

East Canyon Dam and Reservoir Enlargement

East Canyon Dam is a concrete thin-arch structure, 10 miles southeast of Morgan on East Canyon Creek. The new dam, with a height of 260 feet, a top thickness of 7 feet, crest length of 436 feet, and a volume of 35,716 cubic yards, replaces an old concrete arch dam and increases the reservoir capacity from 29,000 to 51,200 acre-feet, covering a surface area of 684 acres. The uncontrolled spillway is on the left end of the dam and has a 6,200-cubic-foot-per-second capacity; the outlet through the dam has a capacity of 710 cubic feet per second.

Lost Creek Dam

Lost Creek Dam is on Lost Creek, 12 miles upstream from its confluence with the Weber River. It impounds a reservoir with a total capacity of 22,510 acre-feet covering a surface area of 365 acres. A zoned earthfill structure 248 feet high with a crest length of 1,078 feet, the dam has a volume of 1,831,820 cubic yards. The uncontrolled spillway on the right abutment has a concrete-lined chute with a capacity of 2,455 cubic feet per second. The outlet works, with a capacity of 805 cubic feet per second, consists of an intake structure at the right abutment, a concrete-lined tunnel, a gate chamber for two 2.25-foot-square high-pressure gates, a concrete tunnel, and stilling basin.

Wanship Dam

Located 1.5 miles south of Wanship on the Weber River, the Wanship Dam impounds Rockport Lake. The lake has 62,100 acre-feet total capacity, and a surface area of 1,080 acres. The dam, a zoned earthfill structure, is 156 feet high, has a crest length of 2,010 feet, and contains 3,183,000 cubic yards of material. The spillway is an uncontrolled open concrete chute with a capacity of 10,800 cubic feet per second. The outlet works tunnel provides for releases to the powerplant or to the river. The outlet works has a capacity of 1,000 cubic feet per second.

Gateway Powerplant

The Gateway Powerplant is at the lower end of Gateway Canal, 10 miles southeast of Ogden. The plant is driven by water returning to the river from Gateway Canal. Its two units develop 4,275 kilowatts under a head of 147 feet.

Wanship Powerplant

Wanship Powerplant is at Wanship Dam 1.5 miles south of Wanship. With one unit, it develops 1,425 kilowatts of energy under a maximum head of 152 feet.

The two plants provide power for the operation of project works including pumping of irrigation, drainage, and municipal water. Energy produced I the nonirrigation season, as well as surplus energy produced during the irrigation season, is available to preferential customers.

Drainage System

A system of 34.5 miles of drains has been constructed to improve and reclaim project land.

Operating Agencies

Operation and maintenance of the project was turned over to the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District on October 1, 1968.

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The early history of the Weber Basin Project is very similar to the history of the Ogden and Weber River Projects. Weber River water was first used by new settlers for irrigation about 1848. The development was reasonably rapid, and by 1896 more than 100 canal companies had begun to divert water from the river or its tributaries and had established rights to all of the normal summer flow. Storage of spring flood flows was undertaken to overcome shortages during the late irrigation season or drought periods. The 3,850-acre-foot East Canyon Reservoir, constructed by private interests on a tributary of the Weber River in 1896, was one of the first storage developments. It was enlarged to a capacity of 29,000 acre-feet in 1916. Numerous small reservoirs, ranging up to 1,900-acre-foot capacity, also were constructed by irrigation companies.


Two Bureau of Reclamation reservoirs were constructed on the Weber River system before authorization of the Weber Basin Project. The 74,000-acre-foot Echo Reservoir on Weber River was completed in 1931 as the principal feature of the Weber River Project. The 44,000-acre-foot Pineview Reservoir on the Ogden River was completed in 1936 as a part of the Ogden River Project. Additional canals and conduits were built under the Ogden River Project. Some water from Weber river watershed is diverted to the Provo River Project through the Weber-Provo Diversion Canal, constructed as a part of the Weber River Project ad enlarged by the Provo River Project.

Planning for the Weber Basin Project started in 1942, was discontinued during the war years, and was resumed in 1946 when it became apparent that the marked population growth in the project area during World War II was permanent. Newcomers, attracted mainly by war installations, remained after the war ended, creating an acute demand for municipal water and accentuating the need for additional irrigation supplies. A status report on investigations was made in January 1948. A project report issued July 1949 led to congressional authorization of the project in 1949. The first appropriation of construction funds was made July 9, 1952. The definite plan report was prepared in 1952. This initial report was revised in 1955 and 1959.


Construction of the Weber Basin Project was authorized by the Congress on August 29, 1949 (63 Stat. 677).


First contracts for construction of project features were awarded in 1956. All were completed in 1969.

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The new land developed by the project is practically all in private ownership. Development of this acreage will permit the formation of new farms and the expansion of many existing units. Principal crops are fruits, vegetables, sugar beets, potatoes, alfalfa, and cereals.

Municipal and Industrial

Benefits to communities and cities are extensive throughout the project area.


Minimum storage pools for game fish are maintained at Rockport Lake, East Canyon, Lost Creek, Causey, and Pineview Reservoirs. Recreation is administered by the Forest Service at Pineview and Causey Reservoirs. The Utah Division of Parks and Recreation administers Arthur V. Watkins, East Canyon, Lost Creek, and Rockport Reservoirs. Facilities for picnicking, camping, swimming, boating, water skiing, fishing, and hunting, as well as sanitation facilities, are available for the increasing number of visitors. Substantial improvements of recreation facilities have been completed.

Hydroelectric Power

Causey Powerplant, completed in 1999, has a capacity of 1.9 MW. The powerplant was constructed and is operated by the Weber Basin Conservancy District.

Gatweay Powerplant, completed in 1958, has a capacity of 4.0 MW. The powerplant was constructed and is operated by the Weber Basin Conservancy District.\

Wanship Powerplant, completed in 1958, has a capacity of 1.9 MW. The powerplant was constructed and is operated by the Weber Basin Conservancy District.

Echo Powerplant, with a capacity of 4,500 kW, is operated by the City of Bountiful under FERC license number 3755.

Flood Control

Flood control is a major contribution of the thorough development of the resources of the Weber and Ogden Rivers. The Weber Basin Project has provided an accumulated $19,532,000 in flood control benefits from 1950 to 1999.

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Last updated: May 17, 2011