AREA 05 - MOAB VICINITY

Updated: November 17, 2015

  MANAGEMENT

A Proposed Determination of Water Rights is currently being compiled (Area Number-Book Number-Division: 05-1-Castle Creek, 05-2-Mill Creek, 05-3-Taylor Flat, 05-4-La Sal Creek, 05-5-Lisbon Valley). There are thirteen court decrees in this area covering the waters of Mill, Pack, Deep, Rock, and Little Castle Creeks.  The only state-administered distribution system in this area is the Mill Creek Distribution System administered by the Mill Creek Commissioner. Because this area is part of the Colorado River basin, the conditions of the 1922 Colorado River Compact, the 1944 Mexican Treaty and the 1948 Upper Colorado River Compact and the State Engineer's Colorado River Policy apply. Click here to see statistics for this area.

  SOURCES

SURFACE & GROUND WATER: The water resources of this area are considered to be limited. New appropriations are limited to small amounts of beneficial use sufficient to serve the domestic requirements of one family, the irrigation of one acre, and ten head of livestock (or equivalent livestock units). New diversions and consumptive uses that require more water than this must be accomplished by filing a change application on valid existing water rights owned or acquired by the applicant. However, some water is available for larger appropriations on a Temporary (one-year) or Fixed Time period basis. Non-consumptive uses such as hydroelectric power generation would be considered on the individual merits of each application.

All applications, including changes on existing water rights, are considered on their individual merits, with emphasis on their potential to interfere with existing rights and to ensure that there is no enlargement of the underlying rights.

Applications are generally approved upon showing of an immediate need for water and with the presumptions that the applicant has all necessary resources and authorities to diligently develop the proposed beneficial uses of water and to file proof. Proof must be submitted by a registered land surveyor or engineer licensed in the State of Utah. Requests for extensions of time in which to submit proof will be critically reviewed after the initial five-year period.

The following specific restrictions apply:

  • Moab City - No appropriations for domestic use will be approved within the city limits of Moab.  Limited stockwatering (up to ten head of livestock) and 1/4 acre of irrigation use east of Main Street will be considered.  Larger use appropriations west of Main Street to the Colorado River, for up to ten head of livestock watering and 1 acre of irrigation, will be accepted and reviewed on their individual merits.
  • Willow Basin - Surface waters are closed to new appropriations. New diversions and consumptive uses must be accomplished by filing a change application on valid existing water rights owned or acquired by the applicant. New applications for ground water are limited to 2 acre feet. Click here to see a map of the restricted area.
  • Mill Creek Upper Watershed Drainage - Surface and ground waters are closed to new appropriations. New diversions and consumptive uses must be accomplished by filing a change application on valid existing First Class priority water rights or water shares based on First Class priority water rights held by the Moab Irrigation Company. Change approval may require the installation of meters and regulation by the Mill Creek Commissioner at the applicant’s expense. Click here to see a map of the restricted area.
  • Town of Castle Valley – Surface and ground waters are closed to new appropriations within the municipal boundaries of the town. New diversions and consumptive uses must be accomplished by filing a change application on valid existing water rights owned or acquired by the applicant. Water will also remain available for use based on a water permit agreement with the Town of Castle Valley. Click here to see a map of the restricted area.
  •   GENERAL

    Applications are advertised in The Times-Independent in Moab or San Juan Record in Monticello depending on the county where the source is located. At the discretion of the Regional Engineer, an application may be advertised in more than one county, if he determines the application could affect the water rights located in bordering counties. Filings that may involve the diversion of water in Utah for use in Colorado (export) would be subject to the special criteria the statutes require for such projects. The general irrigation diversion duty for this area, which the State Engineer uses for evaluation purposes ranges from 4.0-6.0 acre-feet per acre per year. Click here to see a duty map for this area. The consumptive use requirement is determined from the publication Consumptive Use of Irrigated Crops in Utah, Research Report 145, Utah State University, 1994, unless the applicant submits other data for consideration. This area is administered by the Southeastern Regional Office in Price.

    Other Requirements

    The Water Right applicant is strongly cautioned that other permits may be required before any physical development of a project can begin and it is the responsibility of the applicant to determine the applicability of and acquisition of such permits. In order to avoid delays and ensure that Water Right approvals conform to applicable local ordinances, applicants should contact local governmental entities in advance to determine what ordinances are in place that affect the proposed project and to make sure that Water Right filings conform to those ordinances. The approval of a Water Right application does not imply any approval of a project by any other governmental entity. Approval of the project proposed in the Water Right application should be obtained from local governmental entities as necessary to implement a project.

      REFERENCES

    Technical Publication No. 15, Water from Bedrock in the Colorado Plateau of Utah; Utah State Engineer; 1966.

    Technical Publication No. 32, Geology and Water Resources of the Spanish Valley Area, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1971.

    Technical Publication No. 86, Bedrock Aquifers of Eastern San Juan County, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1986.

    Technical Publication No. 94, The Base of Moderately Saline Water in San Juan County, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1990.

    Technical Publication No. 100, Ground-water Conditions in the Grand County Area, Utah, with Emphasis on the Mill Creek-Spanish Valley Area; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1990.

    Special Study 120, The Hydrogeology of Moab-Spanish Valley, Grand and San Juan Counties, Utah, with Emphasis on Maps for Water-Resource Management and Land-Use Planning; Utah Geological Survey; 2007.

      MODELING

    Castle Valley Ground-water Flow Model, 2002. (In review)

    Spanish Valley Ground-water Flow Model, 2002 (In review)

      PREVIOUS PAGE UPDATES

    Feb. 17, 2005, April 13, 2010

    Policy area in green,
    click on the map for more detail

      DESCRIPTION

    Located along the eastern side of the Colorado River from its point of entry into Utah to its confluence with the Green River, this area extends through Grand County into San Juan County from T19S to T30S. Major streams in the area include the Dolores River, Castle Creek, Mill Creek, Pack Creek, and Kane Springs Creek. It is bordered on the north and west by the Colorado River, on the east by Colorado, and on the south and southwest by the San Juan and Green River drainages, respectively. The highest point in the area is 12,721 foot Mount Peale in the La Sal Mountains, while the lowest is the confluence with the Green River at about 3,780 feet, giving a total relief of about 8,940 feet. Click here to see a map of the area.