State Water Resources Research Institute Program
Project ID: 2007UT83B
Title: Economic and Fiscal Impacts of the Groundwater Management Plan in the Beryl-Enterprise Area
Project Type: Research
Start Date: 3/01/2007
End Date: 2/29/2008
Congressional District: UT2
Focus Categories: Water Supply, Water Quantity, Economics
Keywords: Land Use, Regional Economics, Water Use, Water Rights
Principal Investigator: Vickner, Steven S.
Federal Funds: $ 20,068
Non-Federal Matching Funds: $ 36,599
Abstract: On March 16, 2006, Governor Jon Huntsman, Jr. signed House Bill 228 (Groundwater Management Plan). Among other provisions, HB 228 authorizes the state engineer to design a management plan for groundwater resources. Each plan will be based on the prior appropriations principle yet can limit withdrawals of groundwater in a critical management area. HB 228 defines a critical management area to be a groundwater basin in which the groundwater withdrawals consistently exceed the safe yield. HB 228 further defines a safe yield as the amount of groundwater that can be withdrawn from a groundwater basin over a period of time without exceeding the long-term recharge of the basin or unreasonably affecting the basin's physical and chemical integrity.
The Division of Water Rights in the Utah Department of Natural Resources has identified basins of concern throughout the state. According to statistics compiled by the state engineer and hydrologists, from 1993 to 2003 in the Beryl-Enterprise Area 83,000 acre-feet of groundwater were pumped on average each year. However, it was estimated the recharge rate was 33,000 acre-feet in this groundwater basin. With demand out-pacing supply, the groundwater supplies will continue to be depleted.
With authorization from HB 228, a groundwater management plan will be designed and implemented to match available groundwater supplies with the demands of water users (i.e., irrigators, businesses, and households) in the area. As expected, limiting withdrawals of groundwater will impact the community in complex ways. The purpose of this study is to estimate the economic and fiscal impacts of the groundwater management plan in the Beryl-Enterprise Area. Toward that end, the specific tasks of the project include:
Progress/Completion Report, PDF