Updated: April 13, 2011


The Sevier River Decree of 1937 (issued after compilation of a proposed determination of water rights by the State Engineer in the 1920s) apportioned most surface waters. Some diligence claims have been filed on isolated springs that may have been overlooked by the decree. The State Engineer administers two distribution systems (Sevier and San Pitch) to oversee allocation of many of the awards. Click here to see statistics for this area.


Surface and Ground Water - 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 for consumptive purposes has been based on 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 in the Sevier River Basin Ground-water Management Plan. All new ground-water development for consumptive purposes will be based on the acquisition and changing of existing valid water rights from surface (including direct flow and reservoir storage) and underground sources. Careful review of such changes is required due to the complicated return flow considerations on the system. Hydropower appropriations that are non-consumptive in nature can be considered on an individual basis. Fixed-period or transient projects must be handled by temporary change applications--even for non-consumptive activities such as pressure testing on pipelines if they occur during the irrigation season. The period of time for developing the project and submitting proof under change applications will generally be five years. Extensions will be critically reviewed for evidence of diligence in using the water.


Effective November 5, 1997 the area is subject to the conditions of the Sevier River Basin Groundwater Policy. The policy was created to address issues raised after study of the basin hydrology and management alternatives. The major issue discussed was the close hydrologic connection between the surface water and ground water.


Applications in this area are advertised in the Richfield Reaper, Salina Sun, and Gunnison Valley News newspapers. The general figure for irrigation diversion duty in this area is 3 acre-feet per acre. 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 Sevier River/Southern Regional Office in Richfield.

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.


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


Extending from Piute County (T29S) through Sevier and Sanpete Counties to the southern portion of Juab County (T16S) at Sevier Bridge Dam, this drainage area includes the waters of the Sevier River from Piute Reservoir Dam to Sevier Bridge Reservoir Dam and the Sanpitch River from Gunnison Reservoir Dam to its confluence with the Sevier.