Updated: April 15, 2002


DESCRIPTION:        This area extends from southeast Wasatch County, across the western two-third of Carbon County and into northeastern Emery County.  It ranges from T9S to T21S on the west side of the Green River.  The major stream in this area is the Price River; its main tributaries are the White River in the upper reaches and Grassy Trail Creek  in the lower reaches.  This area is bordered on the north by the Uinta Basin and the Nine Mile Creek drainage, on the east by the Green River, on the south by the San Rafael River drainage, and on the west by the San Pitch River drainage.  The highest point in the area is 10,285 foot Bruin Point in the Book Cliffs, while the lowest is at the confluence of the Price and Green Rivers at about 4,200 feet, giving a total relief of about 6,085 feet.  Click here to see a map of the area.


MANAGEMENT:     Six Proposed Determination of Water Rights books were compiled and published in 1971 and 1972.  No final decree has been issued.  There are eleven court decrees in this area covering the Price River, Grassy Trail Creek, and other smaller sources.  There are two state-administered distribution systems in this area; the Price River Distribution System is administered by the Price River Commissioner and the Grassy Trail Creek Distribution System administered by the Grassy Trail 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.  Applications to appropriate or change water are subject to conditions dealing with Green River Endangered Species Protection. There are approximately 5,000 water rights on file with the State Engineer in this area.


SOURCES:                SURFACE WATER - Surface waters of the area are considered to be fully appropriated except for isolated springs.  New diversions and consumptive uses in these sources must be accomplished by change applications filed on owned or acquired rights.  However, in the upper reaches of the area from about Sec. 1,T14S, R9W (where Garley Canyon meets the Price River between Spring Glen and Carbonville) upstream, exchange applications can be filed on shares in the Price River Water Users Association based on storage in Scofield Reservoir.  Most surface source exchanges concern recreational or summer home use from springs in the Scofield area.  Exchange approval requires the installation of meters and regulation by the Price River Commissioner at the applicant=s expense.  Non-consumptive uses, such as hydroelectric power generation, would be considered on the merits of each application.  Applicants are placed on notice that development should be pursued as soon as possible, and requests for extensions of time in which to file proof will be critically reviewed after an initial five year period.


GROUND WATER - There are some limited ground-water resources available.  Permanent applications for isolated springs and underground water are generally limited to sufficient acre-foot amounts to serve the domestic purposes of one family, the irrigation of one acre, and a reasonable amount of stockwatering in areas where water is not available from a municipal or subdivision supply.  Again, exchanges are required in the upper reaches as described in the previous paragraph to accommodate a well.  Change applications altering the source from surface to underground, or vice versa, 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.  Fixed-time and temporary applications are evaluated in a similar fashion.  Applicants are placed on notice that development should be pursued as soon as possible, and requests for extensions of time in which to file proof will be critically reviewed after an initial five year period.


GENERAL:                Applications are advertised in the Sun Advocate in Price and the Emery County Progress in Castle Dale.  The general irrigation diversion duty for this area, which the State Engineer uses for evaluation purposes, is 4.0 acre-feet per acre per year.  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.


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


Technical Publication No. 39, Reconnaissance of Chemical Quality of Surface Water and Fluvial Sediment in the Price River Basin, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1972.


Basic-Data Report No. 31, Selected Hydrologic Data, 1931-77, Wasatch Plateau-Book Cliffs Coal-Fields Area, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1978.


Basic-Data Report No. 32, Selected Coal-Related Ground-Water Data, Wasatch Plateau-Book Cliffs Area, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1979.


Basic-Data Report No. 38, Selected Hydrologic Data, Price River Basin, Utah, Water Years 1979 and 1980; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1982.

Ground-Water Flow in the Navajo Sandstone in Parts of Emery, Grand, Carbon, Wayne, Garfield, and Kane Counties, Southeast Utah; Water-Resources Investigations Report 86-4012; U.S. Geological Survey; 1986.


MODELING:            Navajo Sandstone Ground-water Flow Model, 1986.