Wasatch County Water Efficiency Project

The Wasatch County Water Efficiency Project/Daniel Replacement Pipeline (WCWEP/DRP) improves irrigation efficiency in 9 of 12 irrigation companies serving 3,675 acres of agriculture in the Heber Valley, Wasatch County, Utah, by replacing flood irrigation with pressurized sprinkler irrigation. WCWEP provides pressurized pipeline delivery systems to facilitate the conversion of flood irrigation to more efficient sprinkler irrigation, conversion of open canals to pipelines or lined concrete canals to reduce seepage losses, and pumping facilities for the city of Heber to serve as a  future secondary (outdoor) irrigation system. As part of the project, over 42 miles of new pipelines with regulating ponds were installed, 16 miles of existing open canals were rehabilitated, and ten new pumping stations were constructed.  

The WCWEP/DRP is intended to significantly reduce water losses through improved irrigation efficiencies and reduce direct-flow diversions from the Provo River for storage in Jordanelle Reservoir. The stored water can be released later in the irrigation season to provide replacement water for the discontinued transbasin diversion from the Strawberry River by the Daniel Irrigation Company (DIC), supplement flows in Heber Valley streams, and supply water for downstream water users.  

Wasatch County Water Efficiency Project Map

Map of Wasatch County Water Efficiency Project/Daniel Replacement Pipeline

Project water is diverted at the Timpanogos Diversion on the Provo River immediately below Jordanelle Reservoir and conveyed through the Timpanogos Canal, new pumping stations, and pipelines out to agricultural areas of the Heber Valley. From there, irrigation companies have installed pressured conveyance systems to serve their individual farm operations. Conversion to sprinkler irrigation reduces average annual water use in affected areas from approximately five to seven acre-feet of water per acre to three acre-feet of water per acre.

Conserved water is used not only to replace DIC diversions but to provide supplemental instream flows in five Heber Valley streams including: Rock Ditch, Spring Creek, Lower Lake Creek, London Ditch and Creamery Ditch, totaling 9.2 miles of stream enhancement. These additional flows also improve aquatic ecosystems and public fishing in these streams.

In addition, the project provides complete replacement of source water for DIC by means of a replacement pipeline. This allowed termination of DIC’s historic diversion of 2,900 acre-feet of water annually from the Strawberry River, thereby fulfilling a major environmental mitigation commitment of the Central Utah Project.  This water now stays in the Strawberry River to restore about 34.5 miles of native (cutthroat) trout spawning and recreational fishing in that stream. DIC replacement water is supplied by the water saved through WCWEP’s water efficiency improvements. DIC diversion facilities in the upper Strawberry River Basin were removed following termination of these water deliveries.

The success of the WCWEP/DRP was made possible by the approval of water rights change applications by the Utah State Engineer and operating agreements between the federal government, Central Utah Water Conservancy District, and local water users.


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