Water Conservancy District Joining Others To Utilize Water Rights
Water seems to be an ongoing issue here in our valley, and with growth in population the need to not only conserve, but also to expand our water supply is becoming critical. The Central Iron County Water Conservancy District is working with other groups to ensure that we will have the water supply we need.
Here in Utah, water rights are organized in to “basins.” Here in the Cedar Valley, the primary source of water comes from basins 73 and 81. Basin 81 includes Kanarravile and the southern portion of the valley. Basin 73 covers the northern part of the valley including Cedar City and Enoch.
Basin 73 is the biggest concern right now. Groundwater levels in Basin 73 are decreasing. To exacerbate the situation, the Utah Division of Water Rights adopted a groundwater management plan for the basin in 2021 that will reduce groundwater rights of local municipalities by 75%.
We do have some options. Paul Monroe, General Manager for the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District said that we also own water rights in basins 71 and 14. In a press release, Monroe said, “We are working to diversify water resources by utilizing our water rights in other basins. The District and other local entities have several projects in the works to source water from those additional areas.”
Recently the District completed a waterline along Iron Springs Road as part of a partnership with BZI Steel to deliver water to one of their industrial facilities. But more than getting water to BZI, this waterline has extended the district's water system in to basin 71, west of Cedar City.
The next step for the District is to drill a well in Basin 71 so it can utilize water in that area with water rights that it has owned for several years. The District is currently working with experts and scientists to identify a precise location for the well in that basin.
In addition, Cedar City Corporation just recently made a large purchase of water rights in Basin 71 so it can utilize water from the Iron Springs area, or Beryl/Escalante Valley, in the near future.
Andy McCrea, a hydrologist and District Board Member concluded, "Securing additional water supplies from other basins in conjunction with our water conservation and recycle measures will enable us to deliver a sustainable water supply to support our thriving community and help our Cedar Valley aquifer recover after decades of over pumping.”