Memorandum Of Water Appropriation Policy Colorado River Drainage

Revised: February 25, 2009


Date: MARCH 7, 1990
Revised: FEBRUARY 25, 2009

With continued emphasis on development of water within the Colorado River Basin and in an effort to better define and utilize Utah’s allocated portion of the river flow, as set forth in the Upper Colorado River Compact, the following policy is established for the Upper Colorado River Drainage:

 1) Applications to Appropriate water from either surface or underground will be limited to one family, up to one (1) acre of irrigation, and 10 equivalent livestock units or an appropriate acre-foot limitation based on these parameters and water availability.  Such applications for surface and underground water will be given five years from the approval date to place the water to beneficial use.  Unusual conditions must exist to grant an extension of time.  Applications for limited amounts of water in isolated headwater areas will be considered on their individual merits depending on the availability of water.

 2) Larger surface and underground applications may be considered for perpetual approval on a priority basis depending on the availability of water in the local area and within Utah’s apportionment under the Upper Colorado River Compact.  Such applications may also be considered on a non-priority order for fixed time or temporary approval, depending on the availability of water.  Fixed time approvals may be extended beyond the initial approval period as provided by statute.  For those applications granted in perpetuity, the potential depletion of each application must be defined.

 3) Change Applications will be considered on their individual merits.  Changes involving amounts greater than 0.25 cfs flow will require that the depletion be defined.

 4) Change/Exchange Applications will be required for water development in the fully appropriated drainages.

 5) Non-consumptive applications may be considered in a non-priority order based on their individual merits and water availability.  This pertains to all areas of the Upper Colorado River Drainage Area in Utah.