Current Studies Revised: January 16, 2013

The Utah Division of Water Rights administers a cooperative program of studies to improve the understanding of the water resources of the state and provide data for technically based water right decisions. The cooperative program partners with other local, state, and federal entities in areas of common interest to share costs and study resources. The following studies are currently underway:

Bryce Canyon City Area Hydrologic Framework Study
The purpose of this study is to develop a hydrogeolgic framework of the area

Ogden Valley Hydrogeologic Study
The purpose of this study is to characterize the hydrogeology and groundwater conditions in Ogden Valley.

Juab Valley Hydrogeologic Study
The purpose of this study is to characterize the hydrogeology and groundwater conditions in Juab Valley.

Goshen Basin Water Budget and Conceptual Model Improvement Study
The purpose of this study is to create a new water budget for Goshen Valley

Spanish Valley Groundwater Investigation: Water Budget and Conceptual Model Improvement
The objectives of the proposed study are to (1) refine estimates of selected groundwater recharge and discharge budget components; and (2) improve the conceptual understanding of the aquifer system and hydraulic connection between the Glen Canyon Group formations and the valley-fill aquifer within and adjacent to Spanish Valley.

Determining Groundwater Flow in the Carbonate Aquifer of the Powder Mountain Area, Weber & Cache Co.
The objectives of the study are to: (1) Locate important springs and gaining reaches, and the aquifer contributing to these sources, in areas of Cache and Weber Counties downgradient of Powder Mountain, study area; (2) Sample important springs, gaining streamflow, and the new Powder Mountain well for general chemistry and stable isotopes to determine geochemical relationships; (3) Conduct a geologic framework of the area of interest to show important aquifer structures across the Cache County - Weber County drainage divide.

Goshen Basin Hydrogeologic Framework and Groundwater-Quality Study
The purpose of this study is to characterize the hydrogeology and groundwater conditions in Goshen Valley.

Groundwater Resources of Parowan Valley
The objective of this study is to conduct a new assessment of the groundwater resources in Parowan Valley providing an improved evaluation of current groundwater recharge and discharge, and of changes in the valley’s hydrologic system that have occurred over a period of prolonged stress from groundwater pumping

Assessing sources and availability of groundwater in Pine and Wah Wah Valleys
The objectives of the study are to evaluate water levels, spring discharge, and water quality in the basin-fill and bedrock aquifer system. The study will determine sources of water to selected currently used wells and springs and determine residence times of groundwater to investigate groundwater flow paths and assess interbasin flow between adjacent valleys. This information will also be used to evaluate future changes to the groundwater flow system. The intent of the work is to develop a more complete hydrologic data set for Pine and Wah Wah Valleys that can be analyzed in light of the substantial hydrologic information that has recently become available for nearby parts of the Great Salt Lake Desert Flow System

Groundwater study of the Malad/Lower Bear River Hydrographic Area, 2012-2015
The objectives of the study, to be completed by the USGS, are to reassess the water budget components previously developed for the Utah part of the Malad/Lower Bear River Hydrographic Area (Bjorklund and McGreevy, 1974); to assess whether significant changes have occurred in the groundwater system since 1974; to develop a numerical modeling tool to estimate the effects of additional groundwater withdrawals on streams, springs, and evapotranspiration; and to present the results of this analysis as capture maps for select withdrawal scenarios. The study will extend from January 2012 to April 2015

Lower Bear River and Malad River basin Geologic Framework Study, 2012-2014
This study, to be completed by the UGS, is tasked to evaluation the hydrostratigraphy of the Lower Bear and Malad River Drainages to produce a hydrostratigraphic map, geologic cross sections, geophysical maps, and an Isopach Map. 2012-2014

Groundwater Monitoring Well, Courthouse Wash, Grand County, Utah, 2011-2012
This project is to drill a groundwater monitoring well, collect water quality and water level data, and perform a basic slug test. The primary goal of the well is to determine the nature of groundwater flow and potential interconnection of the Entrada and Navajo aquifers. The UGS is Completing this study

Evaporation and Consumptive Use Estimate Update for Utah - 2008-2010
This co-op study with Dr Hill of USU will update a similar report done in 1994 and will consider 111 sites and elevation/topography in the calibration of maximum potential crop depletion rates and evapotranspiration. An electronic database of these uses will be developed for every PLS Section in the state in a GIS format. This study will extend from July 2008 – June of 2010.

Roosevelt//Neola Uinta River Stream Depletion Estimation – 2008-2009
This co-op study with the USGS, Roosevelt and the Ute Indian Tribe is designed to quantify the surface – groundwater interface near the Uinta River and the influence of the Roosevelt City wells in this area. This is a 4-season evaluation that should be completed by the end of 2009.

Hydrology of Northern Utah Valley, Utah County, Utah, 1975-2005
Hydrology of Northern Utah Valley, Utah County, 1975 - 2005. USGS Co - Op Report and Numerical Model results released January 2009. The ground-water resources of northern Utah Valley, Utah, were assessed during 2003-05 to describe and quantify components of the hydrologic system, determine a hydrologic budget for the basin-fill aquifer, and evaluate changes to the system relative to previous studies. A three-dimensional, finite-difference, numerical model was developed to simulate ground-water flow in northern Utah Valley, Utah. Sources of water to the basin-fill aquifers were estimated to average 153,000 (+/- 31,500) acre-feet annually during 1975-2004 with subsurface inflow and infiltration of streamflow being the predominant sources. Ground-water discharge from the basin-fill aquifers during 1975-2004 was estimated to average 166,700 (+/- 25,900) acre-feet/year where discharge to wells for consumptive use and discharge to waterways, drains, ditches, and springs were the principal sources. Water levels in 110 wells covering all aquifers droped an average of 22 feet and well water age ranged from 2 to 50 years. Prepared in cooperation with Central Utah Water Conservancy District; Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District representing Draper City; Highland Water Company; Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Water Rights; and the municipalities of Alpine, American Fork, Cedar Hills, Eagle Mountain, Highland, Lehi, Lindon, Orem, Pleasant Grove, Provo, Saratoga Springs, and Vineyard. Access at and respectively. MCL

Curlew Valley Groundwater Hydrogeologic Framework
This is a cooperative study, released in November 2008, that was conducted by the Utah Geological Survey in cooperation with the Division of Water Rights. The Report is available on the UGS website ( or the Water Rights Publication website ( for your review. The study finds that a substantial increase in ground-water pumping for agriculture over the past 40 years, combined with lower-than-average precipitation during the past 10 years, are the most likely causes of the declining discharge at Locomotive Springs. The flow from Locomotive Springs at the northern end of Great Salt Lake in north-central Box Elder County has declined by about 80% since the late 1960s. Water levels and water quality in agricultural areas north of the springs have declined during the same time period.

Hydrogeology of Rush Valley, Tooele and Juab Counties.
This study is a cooperative 3-year study conducted from 2008-2010 by the Utah Geological Survey and the United States Geological Survey that will characterize the hydrogeology of Rush Valley as it pertains to the flow of groundwater in the basin-fill aquifer with aquifer tests using existing wells in the basin

Morgan Valley Groundwater Study
The Utah Division of Water Rights is conducting a co-op study with the Utah Geological Survey for a geologic and hydrologic study of the Morgan Valley drainage basin, Morgan County, Utah. The primary goals of the study are: (1) to characterize the hydrogeology of the Morgan Valley drainage basin as it pertains to the occurrence and flow of ground water, with emphasis on delineating the thickness of the valley-fill aquifer and determining the water-yielding characteristics of fractured-rock aquifers in the study area, and (2) to develop a water budget for the drainage basin. The proposed work will require one and one-half years (18 months) of research, data collection, data analysis, and report preparation and will be complete in early 2010.

Well Cutting Logging
This is an ongoing co-op study with the Utah Geologic Survey to log cuttings from selected water wells in Utah to reveal relevant geologic characteristics and thickness of rock and sediment types.

Stream Gage Accuracy Calibration and Automation - 2007-2008
This is a pilot co-op agreement with the USU Water Lab to calibrate gages on sample river systems and make recommendations for their improvement and automation. This project will also involve USGS funding and other federal monies and will result in a presentation to the Water Users Workshop in 2009.

Dam Outlet Venting Requirements 2005-2009
This is an ongoing co-op agreement with the USU Water Lab and other federal monies to determine venting requirements for dam outlets and recommend a design procedure for these requirements. The project involves a literature search of existing procedures, the gathering of empirical information from existing Utah dams, and a model study to calibrate proposed design guidelines. This project was started in 2005 and will continue through 2008.

Oquirrh Mountains Groundwater Monitoring
This is a cooperative study with the USGS and Kennecott Corp to monitor the groundwater flow and levels in the North Oquirrh Mountain and its interaction with the Tooele Valley alluvial fill. This is an ongoing project through 2009 at least.

USGS Co-op Stream Gaging Program
This is a 100 year old , ongoing program between the USGS, the DNR, Water Rights, Water Resources and several other partners to maintain the existing, extensive, automated, real time stream-gaging program administered by the USGS. There is also a groundwater component and a water use component and a water quality component with the DEQ and the Department of Agriculture.

Sevier River Telemetry an Automation Project
The Utah Division of Water Rights supports the continued development of the Sevier River Telemetry and Automation Project. The Division provides cash and in kind services over a 2-year period as part of a local match cost-sharing proposal with the Natural Resource Conservation Service, “ Conservation Innovation Grants” program. Funding provided by the Division will be used to extend and improve capabilities of the monitoring system in Utah. This project extends from 2008 to 2010. This study is in conjunction with the Bureau of Reclamation and the Sevier River Water Users Association.

Cedar Valley Groundwater Modelling
This is a cooperative study being conducted by the Utah Geological Survey which is current in the second of three years of study. This will be the first groundwater model developed by the UGS for the Division of Water Rights. The researchers have collected an extensive set of groundwater level data particularly in the northeast area of the valley. A cooperative groundwater monitoring program with Eagle Mountain City is expected to add additional definition to groundwater system. It is anticipated this study will be published early in 2008.

Northern Utah County Groundwater Study
This study is being conducted by the United States Geological Survey (USGS) and is being funded almost entirely by local entities. The study is currently in the last year of a 5 year study plan. A progress report is available from the review meetings held August 31, 2006, February 16, 2006, September 8, 2005 and April 26, 2007,

Duchesne Distribution Water Right Model
The Division is developing a computerized water rights distribution model for the Duchesne River System. A software package called MODSIM is being used to assemble the information. Gertrudys Adkins is the project lead. The model is operational for planning purposes at present and will be used to develop day to day operational procedures on the river

Cove Fort Area Hydrogeologic Framework
This study is conducted by the Utah Geological Survey. The study began July 2006 and is planned as a one year study. It will look at the occurance of groundwater in the study area, identify key components of the system and the potential for additional groundwater development

Bothwell Pocket Water Quality Investigation
This study is conducted by the Utah Geological Survey (UGS). This project began in September 2006 and is funded as a one year study. The study will consider the water quality history in the basin, look at sources of poor quality groundwater, and any changes in quality which may be occurring with an objective to provide information to manage the resource which will minimize potential for quality degredation.

Cache Valley
The Division in conjunction with Cache Valley and other entities is developing a proposal to improve groundwater characterization in Cache Valley. The component of the study of particular interest to the Division is the ground water - surface water interaction and timing.

Salt Lake Valley Shallow groundwater Resource
The Division needs to study the characteristics of the shallow groundwater resource, it’s relationship to surface sources and the deeper resources, and identify parameters within which the resource can be developed without adversly affecting existing water rights.

Salt Lake Valley Water Right Uses Conversion
The Division needs to study parameters under which water uses can be changed from existing irrigation use to other uses particularly if the new use move to Utah County. The disposition of the carrier water is a particular concern. Should it remain in Utah Lake, be released downstream, or remain available to the user who gave up the use for support of the remaining right.