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Front Page » August 2, 2001 » Local News » UDOT Starting Improvement Project on State Roads Around C...
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UDOT Starting Improvement Project on State Roads Around College Campus

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Construction has started by the state to improve the roads surrounding the College of Eastern Utah campus prior to the process of deleting this series of by ways from the state's road system. Once that is done the streets will be turned over to the city of Price for maintenance and governance. The road is presently known as State Road 283.

Several issues are being addressed concerning the roads around CEU campus. At a public hearing held by the Price City Planning and Zoning the residents located north of 600 North and east of 500 East expressed their concern about the traffic patterns of both the college and high school students who attend classes in the career center building and use 600 north as a thorough fare.

The college has also received funding for the construction of a parking area to be located on the old Durrant School property. The construction of that parking area will be completed by late fall of 2001 to make up for the parking that will be eliminated in front of the BDAC and administration building when construction begins on the new main building complex.

One idea citizens put forth would be to close 600 North at the corner of 500 East and redirect traffic to Veterans Lane to access the new Durrant School parking lot. If this closure does not occur it is likely that current traffic patterns from 300 East to 600 North will increase as people try to access the new parking lot. Any closure will also affect high school football game traffic and parking because during this season the high school's games will be played at the CEU football field. This change has been made due to construction on Carbon High's stadium and playing field.

According to UDOT, one problems with closing 600 North to traffic would be the lack of a circular snow plow route around the campus. The city does not seem as concerned with the problem.

College officials are requesting that UDOT delay repaving of 400 North until the construction of the new main building is completed. Current plans call for completing the entire project in August.

Along with improving the roads around campus, the state fixed the drainage at 600 North and 400 East as inlets have been installed along with pipe that moves the water to an existing pipe at 300 East. In addition drainage at Veterans Lane and 400 North has been corrected by a cooperative project between UDOT and Price City.

UDOT is also reviewing a plan to provide a snow plow to Price City should the city take control of the road. The plow would be a six wheel truck with plow and sander. The machine they are considering giving the city is about four years old.

"The giving of state assets is a new experience and we want to be sure it is done correctly so neither agency is embarrassed," stated Kleston H. Laws, Price District Engineer in a recent piece of correspondence from the state.

Price officials indicated they would schedule a meeting with the state to begin the process of transferring ownership of the road to the city.

Statewide water plan stresses wise management, conservation

Water resources continue to shape Utah's environment, expansion and future population.

A well-established infrastructure, coupled with the diversity and ease of access to natural wonders created by geologic forces, makes Utah a desirable place to live. The conditions contribute to Utah's rapid growth and intensify the strains placed on the state's water resources.

Accommodating mounting water demands challenges Utah and fulfilling the stewardship remains critical to ensuring ongoing prosperity for future generations, according to the conclusions cited in a statewide water planning document.

Utah's Water Resources: Planning for the Future emphasizes the importance of wise management. The report estimates Utah's available supply, makes demand projections, explores how to efficiently meet needs and discusses water quality as well as the environment.

The document will serve as a guide to local water planners and managers striving to meet the challenges facing Utah.

According to the document, the population growth will account for the greatest increase in future water demands. Climbing urban water needs will occur primarily in the municipal and industrial sector, with residential use representing a significant component.

The conversion of agricultural water supplies to municipal and industrial uses as farm land is urbanized will satisfy some future water needs, particularly along the Wasatch Front.

But the conversions will not always be sufficient to satisfy future demands, so additional means of securing adequate water supplies are necessary.

In order to meet all demands on Utah's water resources, a cooperative effort is needed to better use existing supplies.

Utah must promote conservation measures and innovative management technologies.

Although conservation effort swill forestall costly water development projects, the measures alone will not satisfy all of Utah's future needs. Therefore, new development will be needed.

The timing and size of development will depend on the ability of conservation and water-saving strategies to reduce demand.

With the exception of Nevada, Utah receives less annual average precipitation at 13 inches than any of the 50 states.

The average precipitation in the United States is close to 30 inches, more than double that of Utah.

If not for mountains that capture moisture from passing storm systems and release the water throughout the year, Utah would be one vast desert.

The majority of Utah's available water supply or 7.3 million acre-feet is already used.

However, the division of water resources estimates that 790,000 acre-feet per year can yet be developed based on current legal, political, economic and environmental constraints.

A considerable amount of the state's developable water supply or 420,000 acre-feet per year is located in the Colorado River drainage, away from the large population centers along the Wasatch Front.

The Bear River drainage, with approximately 250,000 acre-feet per year of developable water, represents the most significant source available to the Front.

By 2050, Utah's population is expected to more than double to about five million residents.

Assuming current per capita use rates remain steady, the expansion will increase municipal and industrial water diversions from approximately 900,000 acre-feet to more than 1.9 million acre-feet annually.

Despite rapidly escalating urban demands, agricultural irrigation will continue to be the primary use of Utah's developed water supply. The diversions will slowly decline from current levels nearly 4.6 million acre-feet to about 4.2 million acre-feet per year as municipal and industrial expansion displaces traditional agricultural uses.

In addition, environmental and recreational demands for water will play important roles in the future.

Pressure to use water to sustain environmental values and recreational purposes will increase.

Utah has implemented requirements for water retailers and conservancy districts with more than 500 connections to prepare and submit conservation plans to the water resources division with updates every five years.

The requirement covers 150 utilities serving approximately 93 percent of Utah's population.

As of May 2001, 99 water suppliers and conservancy districts had complied with the legislation and submitted the plans.

The division has set a municipal and industrial conservation goal to reduce per capita demand on public water supplies 25 percent or 400,000 acre-feet by 2050

The goal will be achieved as water suppliers implement effective conservation programs, according to the statewide plan.

The recommended measures include incentive pricing, outdoor watering- landscape guidelines, audits, meter installation on all connections, rebates, leak detection and repair programs.

In addition to the measures, a strong water conservation education program is key to long term success.

As competition for limited supplies climbs, the value of the water increases. The economic incentive can lead to the outright transfer of water or encourage the employment of management strategies to maximize existing use benefits provided by existing uses.

When completed, the Central Utah Project will handle a portion of the demands along the Wasatch Front.

The feasibility of the Bear River project and a Lake Powell pipeline are being investigated as methods of meeting municipal and industrial needs on the Wasatch Front as well as Washington and Kane counties respectively.

Numerous smaller projects will also be necessary to satisfy growth demands in other areas of the state.

One option long recognized as a means of enhancing the water supply is a form of weather modification known as cloud seeding.

Areas in Utah that actively practice cloud seeding have realized a combined increase in runoff of approximately 13 percent. The estimated cost of water developed by cloud seeding is $1 per acre-foot.

In addition to water development projects and weather modification, existing delivery systems will have to be upgraded and expanded in order to satisfy future demands.

Water managers should implement policies and strategies addressing sensitive, often controversial environmental and quality concerns.

Adequately addressing the issues will allow Utah's population to grow without unnecessarily degrading the state's natural resources.

Organized water management and planning activities have a longer history in Utah than in the majority of western states, starting in 1847 with the settlement of the Salt Lake Valley, points out the document.

The early settlers surveyed outlying areas, identified potential water sources and migrated to promising sites. Group leaders formed development crews and oversaw water distribution within the communities.

Gradually, government entities assumed a larger role in water matter and Utah established a legal institutional structure to guide the comprehensive planning and management of the state's resources.

In the early 1960s, Utah started focusing attention on preparing a statewide water plan. In 1963, the water board and Utah State University published a document providing a significant building block for future planning.

With the creation of the division of water resources in 1967, Utah officials re-emphasized the state's dedication to comprehensive planning.

Between 1972 and 1985, the resources division published a series of documents entitled, The State of Utah Water. The reports contained refined water supply and use estimates. The documents also explored a wide range of options involving Utah's remaining unused water supplies. The options included redistributing water through large scale interbasin transfers and developing resources for mineral extraction.

The far-reaching vision of Utah's early leaders, coupled with modern engineering technology, has allowed the state's water supply to be harnessed and used on a large scale.

Water has been made so readily available that the resource's relative scarcity in a semi-arid climate is often overlooked. But the reality must be recognized and appropriate decisions made in order to provide sufficient water for future populations.

Decisions regarding water resources basically resides with local leaders, emphasizes the statewide plan. The officials can improve the decision-making process by educating and seeking public participation in water-related discussions.

Government agencies can provide valuable technical and financial assistance which is not always possible at the local level. The appropriate government agencies should be actively involved in the initial stages of local water projects to avoid potential conflicts and setbacks, concludes the statewide planning document.

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