Updated: April 11, 2011


A Proposed Determination of Water Rights book was published in 1975. No pre-trial orders or interlocutory decrees have been issued. There are several other decrees in this area, most notably a Utah Supreme Court decision in 1966 concerning the rights in Fairfield Springs. There is no state-administered distribution system in this area. This area is subject to the conditions of two groundwater policy plans (see below), and the Utah Lake Water Distribution Plan (1993). Click here to see statistics for this area.


Surface and Ground Water - All supplies of water are fully appropriated. Non-consumptive use applications, such as hydroelectric power generation, will be considered on their individual merits. Changes from surface to underground sources, and 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 projects, especially those involving surface waters, must be handled by temporary change applications. Applicants are placed on notice that dry years may bring about a reduction of artesian pressure, therefore, well construction should accommodate the installation of submersible pumps. 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. The following information has been added per the State Engineer's letter dated November 3, 2004:

  • This Division has contracted with UGS to produce a digital ground-water flow model for the valley. This Division, and others, will use the model, in conjunction with a similar model being developed for northern Utah Valley, to test various water development scenarios and assist in making decisions on water right applications.
  • This division will allow an additional 1,500 afy of water to be transferred into the valley, with a preference being given to public water supply agencies. This will bring the total amount of water to 15,000 afy. Until that level is achieved, or the ground-water model is completed, all other filings will be held without action
  • To acquire more data on the valley's hydrology, this Division will require all wells potentially diverting 20 afy or more to install totalizing meters and report the annual diversion and semi-annual (March 1 and October 31) static water levels to this Division. The drillers of new wells will be required to supply cutting samples, taken at 10-foot intervals to the UGS for logging. Owners of all new public supply wells will be required to perform aquifer tests on those wells and report the data and results to this Division
  • Currently, the annual ground-water withdrawals in Cedar Valley are about 4,500 afy. The perfected and approved water rights have a combined potential withdrawal of 13,500 afy. This significant difference is of concern and the Division will undertake an investigation to determine why this difference exists and how it might be resolved.


Two groundwater management plans serve the area:
  • Cedar Valley Ground Water Policy (1995), and it's related followup (2004).
    Developments in northern Utah Valley are having an impact on the land use practices in Cedar Valley. Land use is being changed from agricultural to residential. The changing land use practices and hydrologic connection between Cedar Valley and Utah Lake have prompted the State Engineer to re-evaluate his policy for Cedar Valley to better manage the ground-water and to protect prior water rights. The plan is effective as of November 15, 1995.

  • Utah/Goshen Valley Ground-water Management Plan
    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 of that system and to jointly manage the surface and ground water. 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.


Applications are advertised in the Lehi Free Press. 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 Utah Lake-Jordan River Regional Office in Salt Lake 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. 11, Ground Water in Northern Utah Valley, Utah: A Progress Report for the Period 1948-63; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1965.

Technical Publication No. 16, Ground-water Conditions in Cedar Valley, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1967.

Technical Publication No. 46, Water-Quality Reconnaissance of Surface Inflow to Utah Lake, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1974.

Technical Publication No. 80, Ground-water Resources of Northern Utah Valley, Utah; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1985.

Basic-Data Report No. 2, Records of Selected Wells and Springs, Selected Drillers Logs of Wells, and Chemical Analyses of Ground and Surface Waters, Northern Utah Valley, Utah; Utah State Engineer; 1962.

Basic-Data Report No. 39, Selected Hydrologic Data for Northern Utah Valley, Utah, 1935-1982; Utah Department of Natural Resources; 1982.

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)


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

Northern Utah Valley Ground-water Flow Model, 1985.


August 3, 2006 - Added information from State Engineer's letter
November 3, 2004 - Current page corrects typos on this version.
July 27, 2004 - Old cedar valley groundwater policy

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


Extending from T4S to T10S in western Utah County, this area involves the flows of intermittent streams eastward from the Oquirrh Mountains into the valley. The area is bordered on the north by the Salt Lake Valley, on the west by Rush Valley, and on the east by Utah Lake and Goshen Valley. The highest point in the area is 10,589 foot Lowe Peak, while the lowest is the surface of Utah Lake at about 4,490 feet, giving a total relief of about 6,100 feet.

Click here to use the Water Rights GIS Map Server to view this area.