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Project ID:2006UT70B

Title: Evaluating Water Allocation Strategies in the Virgin River Basin for the Protection and Enhancement of Native Fish

Project Type: Research

Start Date: 03/01/2006

End Date: 02/28/2007

Congressional District: UT1

Focus Categories: Water Supply, Ecology, Management and Planning

Keywords: Instream Flows, Water Use, Land Use, Endangered Species

Principal Investigators: Hardy, Thomas B. (Utah State University); McKee, Mac (Utah State University)

Federal Funds: $21,000

Non-Federal Matching Funds: $59,852

Abstract: Existing water resource allocation practices within the Virgin River Basin has placed an increasing focus on identification of alternative strategies that can accommodate protection and recovery efforts of native fish and in particular endangered and threatened species such as woundfin and Virgin River spinedace. In many sub-basins, existing water use continues to follow practices implemented at the turn of the century and little work has been undertaken to evaluate alternative strategies of water allocations that may improve instream flow conditions conducive to meeting recovery objectives for the listed fish species within the basin.

In this project, we will focus on evaluating existing land use practices and water allocation strategies that may be able to take advantage of new water resource infrastructure (i.e., the Quail Creek/Sand Hollow systems) to meet water demands while providing increased instream flows within selected tributaries of the Virgin River.

Specific tasks include:

  1. Survey existing land use and water allocation strategies within Ash Creek, LaVerkin Creek, and North Creek.
  2. Evaluate existing water delivery practices and infrastructure status.
  3. Evaluate is alternative allocation strategies and sources of water can meet demands while providing additional water to meet instream flow objectives.
  4. Evaluate the existing instream flow releases and ground water levels immediately below Gunlock Reservoir in light of existing well field use in this area by the City of St. George to assess how pumping may or may not be affecting the instream flows.

Progress/Completion Report, PDF

U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Geological Survey
Maintained by: John Schefter
Last Updated: Thursday, January 03, 2008
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