Read meeting notes from the the Utah Division of Water Resources Board meeting

Date/Time: October 5th, 2023

Board Briefing: 8 a.m.

Board Meeting: 10 a.m.

The background: The Utah Division of Water Resources operates within the Department of Natural Resources and helps plan, conserve and protect water use and rights in Utah. Considering Utah’s semi-arid landscape, recent meetings have been focused on facing drought conditions and conserving water. The October 5 board meeting focuses on creating a water bank in Vernal City, updating Hurricane Dam safety, and providing grants for secondary water meters to conserve water across Utah, Davis and Weber counties.

The scene: Board members expressed thanks to the attending agency representatives who are responsible for water projects across the state. Members are on time. The venue has plenty of natural light and looks out on Bear Lake in Garden City, Utah. All agenda items were passed with relative ease. Next steps include creating more secondary metering systems to conserve “potable” or non-drinking water across the state, update dam safety in Hurricane, improve ease of business with water rights, purchases and leases and to continue cloud seeding operations to improve precipitation across the state.

Board Members Present

Candice Hasenyager, Director of Water Resources

Dana Van Horn of Carbon, Emery, Grand and San Juan counties

Juliette Tennert of Tooele and Salt Lake counties Chair of the Board of Water Resources

Charles Holmgren of Bear River Basin – Box Elder, Rich and Cache counties

Mike Davis of Provo River Drainage –Juab, Utah and Wasatch counties

Kyle Stevens of Weber River District – ,Morgan, Summit, Davis and Weber counties.

Randy Cozier of Green River – Daggett, Uinta and Duchesne counties

Spencer Jones of Beaver, Garfield, Iron, Washington and Kane counties

Blaine Ipson (online) of Millard, Sanpete, Sevier, Piute and Wayne counties.

Water agency/project managers present:

Joel Williams

Todd Stonely

Ben Marett

Marissa Egbert and Liz Harris of state Attorney General’s office

Randy Staker, Shannon Cloud taking minutes.

Public members present:

Citizens group Bear Lake Watch.

Joining online:

Project managers Tom Cox (Utah, Davis county), Russell Hadley (Weber County)

Project managers: Ann Baynard (Davis County), Marissa Egbert (Sanpete County) and Ben Marett for Hurricane project (Washington County).

No public comment has been received online.

Holmgren revises minutes,to fix typographical errors that are unclear and gives Shannon Cloud to be edited. Motion to adopt minutes seconded by Stevens and passed by all of the board.

Agenda items are now opened for motion.


Committal of Funds:

Manti City Creek Water Users Mutual Association (MCCWUA) RM034:

Cost Share and Percentages

Board of Water Resources – Loan $956,000 25.5%

Board of Water Resources – Grant $2,623,00 70,0%

Application – $168,000 4.5%

Total $3,747,00 100%

Staff recommends board commit 25.5% and that up to $956,000 of the project be purchased at 1% over the next 15 years. Annual payments of approximately $69,000 (including reserves)

Garrick Willden as a member of the MCCWUA says he appreciates the help and Ipson proposes a motion to accept. The motion passes unanimously.

All grants proposed are an additional third round of money to provide secondary meters across multiple counties to assist in water conservancy.

Lehi City RM074:

Dave Norman from Lehi City, Mayor Mark Johnson, water system manager Greg Allred and Lehi meter supervisor Justin Monson in attendance. Board of Water Resources –

Grant $6,223,500 70%

Application $2,667,500 4.55%

total $8,891,00 100%

Board authorizes and commits 70% of the project cost, up to $6,233,500 as secondary meter grant. Lehi requests an additional $33,500 additional meters be installed. Dave Norman thanks the board for its consideration, he says they are averaging 200 secondary meter installations. Anticipate 35 million dollars for “one-inch” meters since he says Lehi city population is growing.

Mark Johnson says thank you again. A motion is passed unanimously including board member Ipson (online).

Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company RM115

Rick Smith Manager of Weber and Davis Canal Company

Rodney Davis and Robert Whiteley board members are present

Requesting more grant money to install secondary meters.

Board of Water Resources

Grant $5,129,000 70%

Loan $1,869,000 25.5%

Applicant $330,00 4.5%

Total $7,328,000 100%

Board Recommend the authorize and commit 70% of project cost up to $5,129,00

Board authorize 25.5% of project cost up to $1,869,000 and project purchased at 1% interest over 15 years with annual payments of $134,800(including reserves)

The board commits $3.6 million in loan funds and 10 million in grant funds.

5,100 connections are now metered and 1200 new meters have been installed.

The company thanks the board. Blaine Ipson asks if there are two separate motions to be passed. The two separate motions were passed by the board unanimously. Board members Stevens presents motion and is seconded by Cozier.

The follow up motion to authorize the 25.5 project cost with annual payments is passed unanimously.

Bountiful Irrigation District RM 116

Kirk Gal President and Project Manager Curtis Anderson

More money is required to complete secondary meter installations.

Board of Water Resources

Grant $7,389,00 70%

Applicant $3,167,000 30%

Total $10,556,000 100%

Board authorizes and commits 70% of project cost up to $7,389,000

Motion is passed unanimously with no discussion.

Roy Water Conservancy RM112

Board of Water Resources

Grant $5,046,500 70%

Loan $1,839,000 25.5%

Applicant $324,000 4.5%

Total $7,210,000 100%

Board authorizes and commits 70% of project cost up to $5,046,500

Board authorizes and commits 25.5% of project cost up to $1,839,00 and bonded indebtedness be returned at 1% interest over 15 years of annual payments $143,000 (including reserves).

2,020 additional secondary meters to be installed and the applicant has already installed 1,100.

Rodney Banks says he is grateful for the grant money. The board has no questions or comments. Two motions are required, the board passes both motions unanimously.

South Ogden

Board of Water Resources

Grant $3,814,000

Loan $1,389,000 25.5%

Applicant $245,000 4.5%

The board authorizes 70% of project cost up to $3,814,000

The Board authorizes and commits 25.5% of project cost up to $1,389,000 and that bonded indebtedness be returned at 1% interest over 15 years with annual payments of approximately $108,000 (including reserves).

Both Motions are passed unanimously with no discussion or comment.

Weber- Box Elder Conservation District RM114

Board of Water Resources

Grant $4,743,000 70%

Loan $1,728,000 25.5%

Applicant $305,000 4.5%

The board authorizes and commits 70% of the project cost.

The board authorizes and committs 25.5% of project cost, up to $1,728,000 as a loan and that bonded indebtedness at 1% interest over 15 years with annual payments at approximately $134,000(including reserves).

Both motions are passed unanimously.

Syracuse City RM 110

Board of Water Resources

Grant $1,479,000 9.0%

Grant (RM029) $10,000,000 61%

Loan $4,182,000 25.5%

Applicant $739,000 4.5%

Total $16,400,000 100%

The board authorizes 9% of the project cost up to $1,479,000

The board authorizes 25.5% of project cost, up to $2,182,000 as loan that bonded indebtedness be returned at 1% interest over 15 years of annual payments at approximately $324,000 (including reserves).

The motion is passed unanimously without comment or discussion.

Weber Basin Water Conservancy District RM111

Board of Water Resources

Grant $7,277,000 70%

Applicant $3,119,000 30%

Total $10,396,000 100%

The board authorizes and commits 70% of the project cost, up to $7,277,000 (including reserves).

The motion is passed unanimously without question or discussion by the board.

Special Items

Hurricane City Dam Safety Report RC066 title

Ben Merritt and City Engineer Arthur Lebron give a presentation.

Dam Safety Report RC066

Board of Water Resources – Grant $2,296,000 28%

NRCS Grant $5,330,000 65%

Applicant $574,000 7%

Total $8,200,000 100%

The board commits 28% if the project costs up to $2,296,000 as a dam safety grant.

The dam was raised to its current elevation in 1978 and in 1983 a project to help solve cracking and holes in the dam began. The process t did not improve the infrastructure long-term. Reports have concluded that the 24-inch reinforced concrete is in good condition but now over 40 years old. The proposal is to update the infrastructure, by removing the soluble soils used in the 1970s and using materials that will last an additional 50 to100 years. Rehabilitation of the dam includes “removing and replacing problematic soils, capping the top of the embankment, armoring the upstream face with cobbles, installing a two-stage sand and gravel filter, lowering the crest elevation and sloping the exit channel to increase the exit capacity of the auxiliary spillway, removing and replacing the primary outlet pipe with 30 inch HDPE and the project is hopefully going to begin this fall and be complete in the spring before the monsoon season,” said presenter Ben Marett (50:00).

Juliette Tennertt asks a question about the design life of new piping to be installed into the dam. Marrett responds with 50 to 100 years.

Dana Van Horn asks what the minimum pipe size is. It is confirmed to be a 30-inch pipe HDPE pipe intended for installation.

The motion passes the board unanimously with no further question or discussion.

Vernal City “First Water Bank of Utah”

Objectives of Water Banks is put on to a projector: Utah Code 73-31-104

Ryan Goodrich, Ashley Valley Water and Sewage Manager, and Public Works Director Keith Despain of Vernal City are working with WETx to allow private and public entities to purchase water from the Vernal City water bank titled the “First Water Bank of Utah”. Applicants are encouraged to establish more bylaws by board member Davis. Tennertt asks if public comment was made on the waterbank in Vernal and in the past 30 days. Goodrich and Despain say they have not received public comment.

The water bank aims to provide people with the ability to purchase and/or lease water rights and water shares, and as Goodrich says letting the market(1:13:00) decide whether water will be purchased or leased over time.

Water rights are subject to forfeiture protections if those rights are to change as described by Emily Lewis (1:22:00). Dan Matthews of WETx affirms what Lewis has said, having the company work in tandem with city officials.

With no further discussion or comments on the motion, the motion to create the “First Water Bank of Utah” passes unanimously.

Liz Harris and Marissa Egbert from the AG’s Office on disposal of real property.

Discussion on cloud seeding activities

Increased Budget, pilot aerial seeding for the first time in Southern Utah last season, 20 remote generators, New study at Utah State University climate center for appropriate conditions for new seedlings and new cloud seeding symposium.

Aerial Seeding disperses silver iodide into the atmosphere activating and helping with the formation of snowflakes across Southern Utah.

Recommended action for the Board is to commit up to $200,000 for the operational cloud seeding program, with a maximum state cost-share of 50% to local sponsors.

Remote cloud seed generators are located mostly in Northern Utah with aerial seeding more popular in Southern Utah. The remote generators will be located on Utah Division of Forestry Land.

The motion is passed with no further opposition. Charles Holmgren abstains from the vote due to a stated conflict of interest.

Director Hasenyager closes the meeting by mentioning future dates for meetings and an award to the Water Resource Board from the Water Smart Innovations Conference in Las Vegas for promoting water sense-labeled products.

Meeting adjourned at 12:05pm


All committal of funds agenda items were passed, covering up to 70% of the cost of projects to install secondary meters to conserve water across the state.

Who is enforcing these secondary meters be installed by a certain deadline to maximize budgetary efficiency?

“The First Water Bank of Utah” in Vernal City is the first water bank to provide water leases and purchases to public and private entities in Utah.

Since the pricing of water will be market-based, how does the water bank plan on ensuring conservation over its highest bidders for water use?

Aerial cloud seeding operations are expected to begin in Northern Utah.

Considering the move to aerial cloud seeding operations in the Northern section of the state, how dependent on the Great Salt Lake’s lake effect are these seedings if at all?

Water Documenters is a collaboration between The Salt Lake Tribune and City Bureau and funded through grants from the Great Salt Lake Collaborative and the Rita Allen Foundation. College student journalists from all over Utah are hired to attend and take notes at public water meetings in Utah. These notes are then published for anyone to read or use. The project is aimed at providing better public access to meetings where major decisions are made about a limited Utah resource. For more meeting notes, click here. For more information, click here.

Justin Scaccy

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