Thursday, December 27, 2012

Beryl-Enterprise Groundwater Management Plan

On December 21, 2012, the Utah Division of Water Rights adopted the Beryl-Enterprise Groundwater Management Plan.  The objectives of the Plan are to "limit the groundwater withdrawals to safe yield, protect the physical integrity of the aquifer, and protect water quality."  The Beryl-Enterprise area has been an area where groundwater has been pumped faster than it can be recharged (also known as groundwater mining).  The Division has determined that although the safe yield for groundwater in the area is approximately 34,000 acre-feet per year, current groundwater depletion in the area is approximately 65,000 acre-feet per year. 

To address this issue, the Plan provides that total water depletion in the area will be reduced over time until the depletion matches the safe yield.  In other words, over time, water rights will be eliminated, with the "newest" water rights being eliminated first.  Over the first 40 years, the depletion will be reduced by 10%.  For each ten-year period thereafter, the depletion will be reduced by an additional 5%.  It is expected that by the year 2130, enough water rights will have been eliminated that the groundwater will stabilize. 

The Plan leaves open the opportunity for water users in the area to participate in a voluntary arrangement to manage withdrawals other than by priority date.

To read the entire Plan, click here.

For more information about the Plan, click here.

For a list of the Beryl-Enterprise water rights listed by priority, click here.

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