State Engineer's Interim Policy for the Snyderville/Park City Basin
Revised: December 24, 2002
The Snyderville/Park City
Basin (basin) is defined as that part of the East Canyon Creek drainage
in Summit County (from the Morgan / Summit County line to the headwaters
of East Canyon Creek) and that part of Silver Creek drainage which is above
the confluence with Tollgate Canyon Stream. The part of the basin which is
drained by East Canyon Creek is referred to as the East Canyon drainage;
that part which is drained by Silver Creek is referred to as the Silver
Creek drainage. Click here for a map of the area.
In recent years there has been
a rapid increase of the population in the basin. This has transformed an
area dominated by mining and agriculture to one where the main water uses
are now domestic, municipal, industrial, and commercial. Consequently,
the water rights which supported the former uses are being acquired and
changed to the new uses. In addition, water rights based on Weber Basin
Water Conservancy District and Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company contracts
were being moved into the basin under exchange applications. To address
these issues, the State Engineer began holding a series of public meetings
in November of 1995. These meetings were held to keep water users apprised
of research being conducted by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS) and the
United States Geological Survey (USGS), review the results of that research,
seek input on hydrologic conditions, and discuss policy options. The last
of these meetings was held on November 23, 1998.
The basin was closed to new
appropriations of surface water in 1937 by the Weber River Decree, except
for those waters reserved for the Weber Basin Project by a Governor's closure
proclamation. Ground water appropriations were halted in 1973. In the late
1970s, the State Engineer placed a moratorium on the transfer of water
rights into the basin where the amount of water exceeded 1.0 acre-foot
per year (af/yr). In 1988 the moratorium boundaries were expanded and the
moratorium was extended to all such transfers.
As a result of these activities, and comments received
from water users, the following policy is hereby adopted by the State Engineer.
1. This policy is effective as of February 9, 1999. Tollgate
Canyon is excluded by amendment effective January 1, 2003.
2. This policy is implemented on an interim basis to
allow for modifications and refinements as new data becomes available.
Any such modifications to this policy will be done in consultation with
water users in a public forum.
3. The basin will remain closed to all new appropriations
of surface and ground water.
4. Applications to change or exchange water based on
valid, existing water rights within the basin will be considered on their
individual merits and subject to the provisions of paragraph 14.
5. The State Engineer will not approve applications to
change or exchange water where the heretofore source of supply is located
outside the basin and the hereafter source of supply is located within
the basin. Exceptions will be made for applications which seek to replace
currently existing applications.
6. The State Engineer will consider applications to change
or exchange water which propose to import water from outside the basin
to places of use within the basin. Such applications will be considered
on their individual merits.
7. The State Engineer will not approve future applications
to change or exchange water which propose to move the point of diversion
from the East Canyon Creek drainage to the Silver Creek drainage, or vice
versa, unless the applicant can demonstrate that the hydrologic system
is not adversely affected.
8. The State Engineer will require, as a condition of
approval of all future applications to change or exchange water, that the
applicant use all reasonable and prudent means to insure that the effluent
or return flow from the water use remains in the drainage from which it
is diverted. An exception may be made if the applicant can demonstrate
that the proposal can mitigate the impacts on the hydrologic system.
9. In conjunction with all future proof of beneficial
use of water, the State Engineer shall require that the total volume of
water to be certificated has, in fact, been developed and placed to beneficial
use. The State Engineer will review the total operation of a system or
water user to insure the intent of this requirement is met.
10. The Weber River Commissioner and his deputies shall
distribute the waters of the basin by their priority date in conjunction
with other water rights on the Weber River system. Where the State Engineer
deems it necessary, water users shall install regulating and measuring
devices on their diversion works and make those devices available to the
Commissioner or his deputies at all reasonable times. The Commissioner
shall also regulate and monitor any requirement imposed under this water
management policy. Measurements made by the Commissioner in the performance
of his duties shall be included in his annual report to the State Engineer.
11. The applicants for new wells within the basin shall
be responsible to provide cuttings samples, at ten foot intervals, from
said wells for analysis and geologic logging. The resulting logs shall
be posted on the Division of Water Rights Internet website. The Division
of Water Rights shall make sample collection bags available to the drillers
and shall pickup the samples for analysis.
12. Applicants, at their own expense, shall be required
to perform an aquifer test on all new wells approved after the issuance
of this policy on wells which will be used for public supply, commercial,
or industrial purposes. The parameters and conditions of said tests shall
be approved in advance by the State Engineer. The results of said tests
shall be public information.
13. Water users shall install totalizing meters on all
wells which are approved to divert 20 acre-feet per year or more and annually
report their diversions to the Weber River Commissioner. For public water
supply systems, if they submit a form under the National Water Use Data
System, it will meet the requirements of this paragraph.
14. New applications will be evaluated according to the
amount of unallocated depletion available in the six (6) subbasins delineated
in Technical Publication No. 115(1). The average annual amount
of surface or ground water which may be depleted (depletion allowance)
from each subbasin under current and future water rights is as follows:
Drainage Subbasin Depletion Allowance
East Canyon East Canyon 6,400 af
Snyderville 3,700 af
McLeod 5,550 af
Silver Creek Junction 1,000 af
Silver Creek Lower Silver Creek 1,750 af
Upper Silver Creek 5,300 af
The State Engineer may
consider return flow patterns and unused depletion allowance in administering
the water resources within a subbasin. In considering change applications
which move water from one subbasin to another, the depletion under existing
rights shall be evaluated.
1. Brooks, Lynette E., Mason, James L. and Susong,
David D., 1998, Hydrology and snowmelt simulation of Snyderville, Park
City, and adjacent areas, Summit County, Utah: Utah Department of Natural
Resources Technical Publication No. 115, 84 p.