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Master Plan of System Improvements Executive Summary

Executive Summary


In order to plan for the future needs of its stockholders, Provo River Water Users Association (the Association) has completed the 2003 Master Plan Update. The general scope of the 2003 Master Plan Update was to evaluate the historical operations of the Provo River Project (Project), provide an assessment of the existing Project conditions, and identify the future needs of the Association. The 2003 Master Plan Update also provides recommendations that will help the Association meet the future needs of its stockholders.

Project History

The Association was formed during a desperate water shortage in 1930's. The City of Provo, Salt Lake City and five other Utah County cities that needed additional domestic water supplies joined with local irrigation interests to sponsor the Provo River Project. Construction of the Project began in 1938, with the first water becoming available in 1941 upon completion of Deer Creek Dam. Construction of all Project facilities was completed in 1951. The Deer Creek Power Plant was constructed later and was completed in 1958.

Today, the Project provides a supplemental water supply for irrigation of farmlands in Utah, Salt Lake, Summit and Wasatch Counties, as well as an assured domestic water supply for communities in northern Utah County and the Salt Lake Valley. The key feature of the Project, the Deer Creek Dam, is located on the Provo River approximately 16 miles northeast of Provo City. The dam stores water from the Weber River diverted by the Weber-Provo Diversion Canal, flows from the headwaters of the Duchesne River diverted by the Duchesne Tunnel, and Provo River flood flows. Other major structures of the Project include the power plant at the dam, Weber-Provo Diversion and Canal, Duchesne River Diversion and Tunnel, Murdock Diversion Dam, Provo River Aqueduct, and Jordan Narrows Siphon Penstock and Pumping Plant.

Water Supply

The Association obtains water from the Weber River, Duchesne River and the Provo River. Water from the Weber River and Duchesne River are diverted into the Project through trans-basin diversions. Historically, the Association's water rights on these sources have supplied enough water to meet the Association stockholder demands. However, experience has shown that a full allotment of 100,000 acre-feet cannot be supplied during extended dry periods. In order to provide a full allotment during dry periods, the Association must maximize its available water supply by implementing the identified master plan projects and securing existing water rights, in addition to obtaining additional water rights.

Water Conservation

Water conservation is one method in which the Association can extend its existing water supply. The Association has always emphasized the necessity for good water management and practices that enhance water conservation. These water conservation measures are evident in the Association's efficient operation. Some of the recent improvements to enhance water conservation include a system-wide instrumentation and control project and development of the Upper Provo River Easement Maintenance Plan.

Several additional conservation measures have been identified that will help the Association further maximize its existing water supply. Some of these conservation measures include improved flow measurement throughout the Project, improvements to Beaver Creek Diversion, Provo Reservoir Canal Enclosure Project, and a system-wide water rights master plan. These conservation measures together with existing conservation measures will help the Association to reach its goal of efficiently and economically meeting the delivery requirements of its stockholders.

Master Plan Projects

In October of 2001, the Master Plan Team visited a majority of the facilities throughout the Project to assess the condition and deficiencies of each facility. I n general, despite their age, the facilities throughout the Project are in fairly good condition due to the Association's attentive maintenance. However, a majority of the facilities are over 50 years old and with additional maintenance and minor improvements would increase the Association's ability to efficiently operate the Project. Based on the condition assessment of each facility and further discussions with the Association, 59 potential Master Plan Projects were identified. These projects range from simple repair of existing facilities to construction of new facilities.

All of the identified Master Plan Projects will be beneficial; however, the Association does not have the budget to complete all of the projects at once. Therefore, a prioritization process has been established to identify the projects that are most critical to the Association. The prioritization process includes ranking each of the projects on the following four weighted criteria; Water Development, Capital Cost, Improved Operations and Maintenance, and Improved Water Quality/Environmental. It should be noted that safety is an overriding criteria when evaluation potential projects, and therefore, was not included in the prioritization process. Projects with the highest evaluated score are considered to be the most beneficial to the Association.

Ability to Meet Future Demands

As growth continues in Wasatch County, Summit County and along the Wasatch Front, the operational methods of the Project will evolve. An indication of this is the shift from irrigation to municipal and industrial deliveries. This evolvement is placing new demands upon the Project and the Association. The following table summarizes these demands and identifies recommendations to help meet the demands.

Demands Recommendations
Water Demands
Water Rights
  • Firm up existing water rights
  • Secure additional water rights/water supplies
Water Delivery
  • Optimize use of existing facilities
  • Implement Master Plan Projects
Water Quality
  • Become more involved in water quality management
Facilities and Lands Demands
  • Continue to facilitate GIS and license agreement process
Facilities Maintenance/Improvements
  • Implement Master Plan Projects
  • Complete vulnerability assessment
  • Improve security procedures
Operations Demands
Irrigation to Municipal Deliveries
  • Upgrade/modernize Project operations to be more responsive
  • Implement additional safety measures
  • Become more fully aware of environmental issues
Water Quality
  • Become more actively involved in protecting water quality
Water Rights
  • Become more actively involved with other water agencies in protecting existing rights/acquiring additional rights
  • Provide technology training to increase expertise of operations and maintenance staff

Implementation Schedule

The 2003 Master Plan Update identified 59 potential master plan projects. These projects were identified to improve the Association's overall operations and to meet the future needs of the Project. The 59 potential master plan projects are classified as either Capital Improvement Projects (CIP) or Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Projects. Projects that were identified as O&M Projects will be funded through the annual General Project Operation and Maintenance Assessment and will be implemented as that budget allows.