Updated: April 3, 2011


This area has not been the subject of any court decrees of record, however the State Engineer has published and distributed the Proposed Determination of Water Rights for the Hamlin Valley Division of the Great Salt Lake Adjudication in 1959. There are no state-administered water distribution systems in this area. Click here to see statistics for this area. Click here to see a list of Utah water rights in Snake Valley which are junior to SNWA filings.


Surface Water - Surface waters of the basin are generally considered to be fully appropriated. New surface diversions and uses must be accomplished by change applications based on valid existing water rights. Fixed-time projects involving surface waters must be accomplished by temporary change applications on valid existing water rights, which require annual renewal. Applications for small surface water appropriations (less than 2.0 acre-feet) are considered on the individual merits and circumstances of the application.

Ground Water - The State Engineer believes there is a limited amount of unappropriated water available in the aquifer system, and some development has occurred in the south end of the area. Domestic filings, limited to the requirements of one family, up to 10 head of livestock, and 1/4 acre of irrigation (1.73 acre-feet or equivalent livestock) are individually reviewed for potential interference with existing water rights, and some have been approved. Applications are generally approved upon showing of immediate need for water and with the presumptions that the applicant has all of the necessary resources and authorities to diligently develop the proposed beneficial use of water and to file proof. Typically, a period of five years is allowed for full development with extensions of time granted only under unique circumstances that are clearly beyond the control of the applicant.

Several larger filings are on record, but have not been approved pending development of a better understanding of the available resource.


Applications are advertised in the Millard County Chronicle, the Beaver Press, or the Spectrum Record, depending on their location. Filings that may involve the diversion of water in Utah for use in Nevada (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, 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 Southwest Regional Office in Cedar City.

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.


Technical Publication No. 14; Water Resource Appraisal of the Snake Valley Area, Utah and Nevada; Utah State Engineer; 1965.

Water-Resources Investigative Report 95-4173, Simulated Effects of Proposed Ground-Water Pumping in 17 Basins in East-Central and Southern Nevada; U.S. Geological Survey; 1995 (viewing this document requires the DjVu browser plugin available from LizardTech)

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5103, Hydrology and Numerical Simulation of Groundwater Movement and Heat Transport; 2014.

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2014-5213, Steady-State Numerical Groundwater Flow Model of the Great Basin Carbonate and Alluvial Aquifer System; 2014.

USGS Scientific Investigations Report 2017-5072, Groundwater Model of the Great Basin Carbonate and Alluvial Aquifer System Version 3.0: Incorporating Revisions in Southwestern Utah and East Central Nevada; 2017.


Regional Ground-Water Flow, Carbonate-Rock Province, Nevada, Utah, and Adjacent States; USGS Open-File Reports 93-170 and 93-420; 1993.


None available.

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


Located along the western border of Utah, this valley reaches from southwestern Millard County (T24S) through western Beaver County to northwestern Iron County (T33S). This isolated drainage basin includes several intermittent streams that flow from the surrounding mountains into Hamlin Valley Wash. It is bounded on the east by the 9,790 foot Needle Range and on the west by the 9,196 foot White Rock Mountains. A low dividing range on the southern end of the valley is about 6,600 feet in elevation, while the northern end opens into the southern end of Snake Valley. The lowest point is where Hamlin Valley Wash crosses the border into Nevada at 5,990 feet, giving the basin a total relief of about 3,800 feet.