Huntington-Cleveland Project Chronicle
photo: Gated pipe irrigating alfalfa
Gated pipe irrigating alfalfa


The Huntington-Cleveland Salinity Control Project (HCSCP) is a 20,000 acre component of the larger “Price-San Rafael Rivers Unit” that encompasses 50,000 acres of irrigated crop, hay and pastureland 150 miles south east of Salt Lake City, Utah, USA. The Price-San Rafael Rivers Unit was authorized in 1994 to control salinity as a collaboration between the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation, the USDA-Natural Resource Conservation Service, the seven Colorado River Basin states and local entities.

The Huntington-Cleveland Salinity Control Project will eliminate and replace 350 miles of earthen canals and laterals with buried pipelines that will deliver irrigation water under pressure to individual farms and ranches. Crops of alfalfa, small and large grains and forages and orchards will be grown using high-efficiency irrigation systems that minimize the percolation of water below the root zone and reduce the mobilization and transport of salts to the Price and San Rafael Rivers, and ultimately, the Green and Colorado Rivers.

This semi-arid area near the communities of Huntington, Cleveland and Elmo has been irrigated since the late 19th century from the snow-melt-fed Price River and the San Rafael River and their tributaries. The salt-bearing soils and parent materials are derived from sediments lain down when the entire Colorado Plateau was covered by shallow seas millions of years ago.

Ultimately, the HCSC Project will provide annual control of approximately 60,000 tons of salt by improving irrigation system delivery and application on approximately 20,000 acres of crop, hay and pastureland. The federal and local costs are estimated to be about $65 million USD.

Last Updated: 3/17/17