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A.V. Watkins Dam Enlargement

photo: A.V. Watkins Dam - cement-bentonite wall construction
A.V. Watkins Dam during cement-bentonite
cutoff wall construction

The Consolidated Natural Resources Act of 2008 authorizes the Secretary of the Interior to study the feasibility of enlarging A.V. Watkins Dam for the development of additional storage to meet future water supply needs along the Wasatch Front in northern Utah. The act also authorizes the appropriation of $1 million for the federal share of the study. The Weber Basin Water Conservancy District is funding the residual amount.

Although Reclamation has developed alternatives to raise the dam crest and maximum water surface elevation by five feet and begun geotechnical analyses, the need to include an analysis of the increase in seismic risk associated with the proposed raise is delaying progress on the feasibility study. Reclamation will complete a seismic issue evaluation in the fall of 2011 and will incorporate the evaluation into the feasibility study. Reclamation will revise the schedule for completing the feasibility study, allowing sufficient time to incorporate any additional requirements to analyze the seismic risk. To accommodate the time necessary for the seismic evaluation, Reclamation has postponed a design, cost estimating, and construction review until after the seismic issues can be analyzed and incorporated into the feasibility study.

A.V. Watkins Dam impounds Willard Reservoir. The dam, constructed from 1958-1964, was authorized as part of the Weber Basin Project under the Weber Basin Project Act of August 29, 1949. The reservoir provides irrigation, municipal and industrial, fish and wildlife, and recreational benefits.


Last updated: March 3, 2011