AREAS 61, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, AND 69


        Water Rights Policy, Sevier River Basin
          Areas 61, 63, 65, 66, 67, 68, and 69
                    November 5, 1997
On March 19 & 20, 1997, the State Engineer held four public meetings in the
Sevier River Basin at which the current water rights policy was reviewed, along
with the principal findings of the United States Geological Survey technical
publications, and potential future management alternatives.  The major issue
discussed was the close hydrologic connection between the surface water and
ground water.  Water users were given until May 15, 1997, to submit comments.
From those comments and our research findings we have formulated the
following policy.
Under a Governor's Proclamation dated December 19, 1946, the surface waters of
the Sevier River Basin were closed to all new appropriations.  Since that time, all
new development of surface water has been based on the the acquisition and
changing of existing valid surface water rights.
As of March 19, 1997, the Sevier River Basin was closed to all new
appropriations of ground water except as set forth below.  All new ground-water
development will be based on the acquisition and changing of existing valid water
rights from surface (including direct flow and reservoir storage) and underground
To assist water users, the following criteria will guide the implementation of this
1) The State Engineer will act upon Applications to Appropriate filed prior to
March 19, 1997 in accordance with the policies which were in effect at that time.
Applications to Appropriate filed after that date which are not in accordance with
this policy will be rejected.
2)  The Sevier River Basin is closed to new appropriations, except:
  a) that portion of the Sevier Desert (Area 68) located in Ranges 8 West and 9
West which remains open to small domestic well filings for the domestic purposes
of one family, the irrigation of 0.1 acres of lawn and/or garden, and the watering
of no more than 5 head of cattle or the equivalent; the annual withdrawal not to
exceed 1.0 acre-foot per year.
  b) that portion of the Sevier Desert (Area 68)  west of the line between Ranges 9
West and 10 West, SLB&M, and the area around Sevier Lake (Area 69) will
remain open to the appropriation of ground water on a case-by-case basis.  The
waters of Sevier Lake are still open to appropriation on a case-by-case basis.
  c) that portion of the basin located in Pahvant Valley (Area 67) is covered by
separate ground-water policy announced on March 2, 1994.
3)  The State Engineer's policy on Applications for Permanent and Temporary
Change of Water within the basin will be flexible.  The primary criteria that will
be considered in evaluating such applications is impairment of other water rights,
including that no enlargement of the underlying water right(s) occurs.  For
permanent changes, other statutory requirements set forth under Title 73, Chapter
3, Sections 3 and 8 of the Utah Code Annotated will be considered.
4)  The State Engineer will consider Applications for Permanent and Temporary
Change of Water which seek to move direct flow or storage water rights to
ground-water sources on a case-by-case basis.
5)  Applications for Permanent Change of Water and Applications for Temporary
Change of Water which seek to change irrigation or other water rights where the
period of use is less than a full year, to year-round uses will be considered on a
case-by-case basis.  Such applications will be critically evaluated to ensure that
the diversion pattern of the new uses will not impair other water rights.
6)  Requests for Reinstatement and Extension of Time will be critically reviewed
to assure the applicant(s) are pursuing their development with due diligence.
7)  Applicants submitting Proof of Diversion and Use of Water on water rights
involving changes from irrigation to other uses will be required to submit data
and/or maps showing the lands being taken out of production.
If you have any questions regarding this policy, contact a Division of Water
Rights office listed below.
        Division of Water Rights         Division of Water Rights
        2031 South Industrial Parkway    Box 146300
        Richfield UT 84701               Salt Lake City UT 84114-6300
        Phone: 435-896-2557              Phone: 801-538-7240
        Fax:   435-893-0267              Fax:   801-538-7467
Click here to see a map of the area.