Water agencies combine forces
November 6, 2012
So far, a regional water plan for Western Summit County is getting a green light.
"We’re encouraged by the condition of the infrastructure that’s in the ground up there already — to think it could be used to share water capacities and we could safely hook to them with additional facilities and not have a problem," Weber Basin Water Conservancy District General Manager Tage Flint said.
The District was asked by local water agencies to look at a regional water supply solution as part of a plan for future growth in Western Summit County.
"It’s the first time we’ve done a unified water project for and on behalf of all the agencies there at once," Flint said. "Because we are a regional water supplier and we’ve done this in other places in our district, and it seemed logical that we would at least take a look at it."
In January this year, the District entered into a preliminary agreement with Park City Municipal, Summit Water Distribution Company, Mountain Regional Water Special Service District and Snyderville Basin Water Reclamation District to conduct a feasibility study on the Western Summit County Wholesale Water Importation Project.
"We’re trying to make this as comprehensive as possible so that we finally solve all the future water needs in the valley without leaving anyone out," Flint said.
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The agencies remain committed to the partnership and are encouraging the District to continue the study so the agencies can review it upon completion, Flint said. "We’ve been going as breakneck fast as we can go to try to get something by the end of the calendar year."
While the study isn’t yet complete, the preliminary information looks promising.
"It hasn’t produced any fatal findings that would prohibit us from doing it," Flint said. "We have these checks as we go, and if we get to something that looks like it’s just undoable, we will readjust. But in this case, it looks so far as if all the things we’ve checked are feasible."
The study is analyzing infrastructure requirements needed to meet the growing water demands of Western Summit County, and is ensuring there is enough water secured for those needs, including using water currently imported into the valley as well as future water supplies.
The plan projects to 2040, with infrastructure growing as the demand increases –always staying five years ahead of the demand.
"This marks the first time where all the agencies have come together to ask one agency, ours, to do this," Flint said. "I think it’s a real positive step at a time when it’s hard to get everyone on the same page. And it’s the responsible thing to do for all the citizens."