Department of the Interior

DOI News Header

Office of the Secretary
For Immediate Release:
October 19, 2005
Frank Quimby, 202-208-7291
or Barry Wirth 801-524-3774

Norton Recognizes Water 2025 Awards for Utah, Idaho Conservation Projects

SALT LAKE CITY - Interior Secretary Gale Norton, joined by Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman, Jr., today awarded $2.8 million in Water 2025 Challenge Grants for 11 projects in Utah and one in Idaho to help address long-term water needs in both states.

"Today we recognize a dozen organizations that are demonstrating initiative to make better use of existing water supplies by using technology to reduce inefficiencies, save money and conserve scarce water resources," Norton said at the award ceremony in Orem, Utah.

"With continued growth in the economy and population, water needs are increasing and water supplies are not," Norton noted. "These conservation projects will not only help in the short-term, but also will benefit future generations."

The grants will provide funding for flow sensors and meters, water pipes to replace open canals, and expanded Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition systems. The funding will also be used to create a small water bank in the Salt Lake Valley. The 12 projects will save about 68,000-acre-feet of water annually. (An acre-foot is 326,000 gallons, enough for a family of four for 18 months.)

Gov. Huntsman has launched a state-wide initiative that emphasizes water conservation plans and cost-effective water conservation education programs.

The Challenge Grants Program focuses on meeting the goals identified in Water 2025: Preventing Crises and Conflict in the West. Water 2025 encourages voluntary water banks and other market-based measures as authorized under state law, promotes the use of new technology for water conservation and efficiency, and removes institutional barriers to increase cooperation and collaboration among federal, state tribal and private organizations.

Grant recipients from Utah and Idaho include:

Projects Water Bank Savings (ac/ft) Challenge Grant
Ashley Valley Reservoir Company - 1,240 $300,000
Bear River Small Irrigators, Inc. - 18,450 $123,184
Davis & Weber Counties Canal Company - 1,500 $245,599
Duchesne County Water Cons. District - 11,000 $162,790
Metropolitan Water Dist. Of Salt Lake & Sandy 300 - $300,000
Payson City/Strawberry Highline Canal Comp. - 200 $300,000
Sandy City - 330 $300,000
Sevier River Water Users Assoc. - 22,500 $247,540
Springville Irrigation District - 450 $91,300
Wellsville-Mendon Conservation District - 1,978 $215,998
Preston Whitney Reservoir Company - 1,800 $300,000
Washington County Water Cons. District - 8,600 $224,940
Total 300 68,048 $2,811,351

Contract information on grants is online at

The Water 2025 Challenge Grants, administered by Interior's Bureau of Reclamation, provide local water or irrigation districts with matching funds for projects that conserve water, increase water use efficiency or enhance water management at existing water supply projects.

Reclamation is the largest wholesale water supplier and the second largest producer of hydroelectric power in the United States, with operations and facilities in the 17 Western States. Its facilities also provide substantial flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits. More information on the Water 2025 Challenge Grant Program is online at