The purpose of this ground-water management plan is to set forth
guidelines for the future administration and management of the
ground-water resources in Utah and Goshen valleys.

For the purposes of this plan, Utah/Goshen Valley is defined as
the valley fill in that part of Utah County which is tributary to
Utah Lake and the Jordan River and bounded on the east by the
Wasatch Range, on the south by Long Ridge and the Tintic
Mountains, on the west by the Tintic Mountains and Lake Mountain,
and on the-north by the Traverse Range.  The aquifers-of this
valley consist of unconsolidated and semi-consolidated
formations, which together are referred to as the valley fill.
Utah/Goshen Valley covers portions of the State Engineer's
administrative areas 51, 53, 54 and 55.


Past studies have identified as many as four distinct aquifers in
the valley fill.  More recent studies by the United States
Geological Survey (USGS) indicate that the valley fill is more
accurately described as one aquifer comprised of many
discontinuous layers and lenses of permeable and less permeable
material, which gives the appearance of multiple aquifers.  The
permeable layers interact with each other and with surface water
sources.  Ground-water models have been developed for northern
Utah Valley, and Southern Utah and Goshen valleys.  These models
are useful in assessing the effects of increased withdrawals on
water levels and the relationship between surface and ground

According to recent estimates, recharge to the Utah/Goshen valley
ground-water system totals about 344,000 acre-feet per year.
Discharge is about 377,000 acre-feet per year with the major
sources of discharge being wells and waterways and springs.  The
principal sources of recharge are seepage from streams and
canals, and subsurface inflow from bedrock, primarily from the
Wasatch Range.  At the time the estimates were made, the
discharge exceeded the recharge by 33,000 acre-feet per year.
However, over the long term, recharge and discharge are roughly
equal and no significant mining of ground water (see note 1) takes
place.  Long-term water levels show a decline of about 10 feet
over much of the valley area east of Utah Lake.

Over the period, 1984 through 1993, well pumpage has averaged
nearly 106,000 acre-feet per year, which breaks down as follows;

         48,500 acre-feet per year for irrigation;
          5,700 acre-feet per year for industry and other uses;
         20,300 acre-feet per year for domestic use and stock
         31,500 acre-feet per year for public supply.

During this period, pumpage has been increasing by an average of
just over 2,700 acre-feet per year, with irrigation accounting
for nearly 1,500 acre feet per year of this increase, and public
supply and industry each about 600 acre-feet per year.

Because of the topography of Utah/Goshen valleys, there are
opportunities to reuse water.  Under normal flood irrigation
practices, only about one-half of the water diverted from a
source for irrigation purposes is consumed.  The other half is
return flow in the form of recharge to the ground water system,
inflow to Utah Lake, and/or discharge to drains or other water
ways.  Thus, the important point to consider in water management
is that as you develop ground water which is tributary to Utah
Lake, you must factor in the return flow aspect.  This is
particularly important for municipal water systems which have
waste water treatment plants.

Based on current data and estimates, the consumptive use of well
pumpage is estimated to be 35,670 acre-feet per year or about
one-third of diversions.  The water use figures cited above
reflect the actual use under the ground-water rights in the
valley.  The State Engineer did a review of the existing
perfected and approved water rights to determine the potential
withdrawals that could occur if the water rights were exercised
to their full extent.

Based on water rights on file in the Division of Water Rights,
wells in the valley have the potential of withdrawing about
239,700 acre-feet per year, which breaks down by use as follows;

         111,500 acre-feet per year for irrigation;
          77,600 acre-feet per year for industry and other uses;
          28,600 acre-feet per year for domestic use and stock
          22,000 acre-feet per year for public supply.

Out of the-total potential withdrawal, perfected water rights
account for 97% of the valid well water rights in the valley;
approved water rights account for the remaining three of well
rights.  The potential diversion requirement from drains and
springs is estimated to be about 77,000 acre-feet per year.  As
the valley continues to urbanize, there are more and more wells
that are no longer used.  There are presently about 7,000 wells
in Utah/Goshen Valley.  A significant portion of these wells are
over 50 years old, and many are experiencing operational
problems.  When wells are not actively used and maintained they
become more susceptible to contamination.  As the density of
wells increases in those areas using individual septic tanks, the
potential of contamination increases.  As this area experiences
additional, growth, it appears that one of the best methods to
protect the water quality in the aquifer is central water and
sewage systems.

Utah/Goshen Valley was open to appropriation of ground water
until the early 1960s; at that time the valley was closed to all
appropriations greater than 3 acre-feet per year.  In 1967, the
State Engineer instituted a moratorium on all ground-water
appropriations in southern Utah Valley as a result of persistent
water level declines in the early 1960s.  That moratorium lasted
until 1975 when water levels had recovered and the previous
policy was reinstated.

The State Engineer's ground-water appropriation policy for the
entire Utah/Goshen Valley limits the quantity of water granted
for new wells.  The limitations are a maximum of 3 acre-feet per
year and the proposed well must be located in an area not served
by a public water system and must not be located in a


All surface waters in the Utah Lake/Jordan River system are
considered to be fully appropriated.  From the recent studies and
computer ground-water models that have been developed, the data
suggests a strong relationship between ground water and surface
water sources, particularly Utah Lake.  The movement of ground
water in the valley is generally from the mountains towards Utah
Lake.  A relatively small quantity of water is directly
discharged to the lake, but large quantities of ground-water are
discharged adjacent to the lake which then flows via drains and
waterways to Utah Lake to make up a significant quantity of the
water supply.  The total annual inflow to Utah Lake is about
725,000 acre-feet.  Of this amount, about half is from ground-
water sources.

Utah Lake is the ultimate destination of all unconsumed water in
Utah/Goshen Valley.  This water then flows north into Salt Lake
Valley to satisfy water rights which divert from the Jordan
River.  These water rights are governed by the 1901 Morse Decree
which provides irrigation water to some 51,000 acres.  These are
some of the most senior water rights on the Utah Lake/Jordan
River system.  Another 11,900 acres are supplied by certificated
water rights.

The USGS has constructed two ground-water models; one for
Northern Utah Valley and the other for Southern Utah and Goshen
Valleys.  The Division of Water Rights has used these two models
and other data to investigate the relationship between surface
and groundwater sources.  These investigations support the
conclusion that every acre-foot of well water consumed in
Utah/Goshen Valley causes the loss of an acre-foot of water
discharging to Utah Lake.  Thus, the development of ground water
in the basin will affect the quantity of water available to
surface water rights, particularly during drought periods.

Because of the rapid urbanization of both Salt Lake and
Utah/Goshen Valleys, much of the land that was previously
irrigated has been converted over to residential and commercial
uses.  In many cases, the underlying water right has gone unused
and is available for conversion to other uses.  It appears there
is adequate water supplies in Utah/Goshen valleys to meet most of
the future needs, if existing water rights are changed over to
these new uses.  The State Engineer wants to encourage the
transfer of irrigation water to municipal purposes as farm land
converts to subdivisions.  To accomplish this will require that
change applications be filed to transfer surface water rights to
ground-water sources.


The objectives of this plan are to promote the efficient use of
the waters of the Utah/Goshen Valley ground-water system within
the safe yield (see note 2) of that system and to jointly manage
the surface and ground water.  To achieve that objective, the
State Engineer wants to develop a plan which is flexible to
provide for changing future conditions, and at the same time
protect prior water rights.  The plan needs to allow for conjunctive
use of surface and ground-water supplies, promote conservation, and
allow changes in-water use.  Due to urbanization in the area, there
are significant changes in water use practices.  As water use
practices change, the determination of safe yield may need to be
modified accordingly.  To be effective, the plan needs to
encourage the efficient transfer of water, especially from
irrigation to municipal and domestic uses, while protecting prior
water rights.

1.       New Appropriations

         The Utah/Goshen Valley is closed to new appropriations of
         ground water.

2.       Withdrawal Limits

         Assuming that the effect on surface water rights can be
         mitigated, the allowable ground-water withdrawals for the
         different areas of the valley are as follows:

         a.   Northern Utah Valley - Annual withdrawals from wells
              are limited to an average of 160,000 acre-feet per
              year, using a 5-year moving average.  Maximum
              withdrawals in any one year shall not exceed 200,000

         b.   Southern Utah Valley - Annual withdrawals from wells
              are limited to an average of 100,000 acre-feet per
              year, using a 5-year moving average. maximum
              withdrawals in any one year shall not exceed 120,000

         c.   Goshen Valley - Annual withdrawls from wells are
              limited to an average of 18,000 acre-feet per year,
              using a 5-year moving average.  Maximum withdrawals in
              any one year shall not exceed 20,000 acre-feet.

3.       Change Applications

         All new withdrawals of ground water will be based on the
         acquisition and transfer of existing surface or ground-water
         rights, and the filing of a change application.  These
         applications will be considered on their own merits.  In order
         to better protect prior water rights and public health and
         safety, consideration will be given as to whether the
         application proposes delivery through a central water system
         and the discharge of effluent through a sanitary sewer system.
         All such applications will be required to indicate, in acre-feet
         per year, the proposed annual withdrawal.

4.       Proof-of Appropriation/Change

         All proofs of appropriation or change will be required to
         state the water right's annual withdrawal in acre-feet per
         year in addition to the maximum allowable flow rate.  All maps
         submitted with proofs of change which involve the transfer of
         irrigation water rights will be required to show the lands
         being taken out of irrigation as well as the new uses covered
         under change.
5. A contaminated site has been identified near the mouth of Spanish Fork Canyon with high levels of nitrate and explosive compounds. The contamination plume is dynamic and the area defining its location as reported in Ensign-Bickford's Ground Water Annual Report will be reviewed and periodically updated as needed on the Division of Water Rights' website mapping tool. The identified contaminated area boundary will be defined as the area inside a 1000-foot buffer around the contamination concentration contour derived from water sample data where the explosive compound commonly referred to as RDX is found in concentrations greater than 2.0 ppb. Through consent agreements the state of Utah has provided to the entity responsible for cleaning up the contamination assurances which have allowed the process to proceed. Applicants seeking to move water rights into the identified contaminated area are cautioned that the water within this area must still be adequately treated before the water is used. Applicants shall acknowledge their proposed point of diversion is located within the contaminated area and shall demonstrate in the change application filing that the future withdrawal of water will not interfere with the clean-up process or be detrimental to public welfare.
As amended
June 11, 2019
6. Reporting Provisions To effectively monitor ground-water withdrawals, all wells which have the potential to divert 100 acre-feet per year or more of water I shall be equipped with meters and it shall report their diversions to the State Engineer on a calendar year basis. The State Engineer will monitor data on well withdrawals, ground-water levels and water quality data. If in the opinion of the State Engineer the data suggests additional management guidelines are needed in order to protect the resources, action will be taken to present this to the water users and the general public. This plan may be updated as new data and information becomes available. All modifications to the plan will be done through a public review process. ***** NOTES: 1 Mining is defined as the removal of water from the aquifer system in such a manner that the total volume of water in the aquifer system is constantly diminishing. 2 Safe yield is defined as the volume of ground water that can be extracted annually from a ground-water basin without causing any adverse effects to water quantity or quality.