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Kanab Area Reservoir in Planning Stages



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KANAB, Utah (AP) -- Kane County water officials have a new dam and 212-acre reservoir near the Utah-Arizona border on the drawing board for irrigation, fishing and other recreational pursuits.

If built, the Jackson Flat reservoir would store 3,900 acre-feet of water, three miles south of Kanab, The Salt Lake Tribune reported on its Web site Wednesday.

Kane County's Water Conservancy District wants to erect a 42-foot high dam to impound water piped from Kanab Creek, which flows year-round. The estimated cost of construction is between $6 million and $7 million. The resulting lake would replace three smaller, 1930s-era reservoirs that are no longer used because their dams are unstable.

Mike Noel, executive director of the conservancy district, said the reservoir would allow water to be stored during the winter for use later.

"Using water on the fields in winter is not as efficient," Noel said. With the reservoir, "we can pipe it to the fields in the summer when needed most."

Homeowners could also tap water shares for irrigation and free up culinary water currently supplied by Kanab.

If the project moves ahead, construction could begin as early as December, Noel said. Funding would come from grants, irrigation company storage fees and conservancy district tax assessments.

The reservoir name would honor the Jackson family, who sold 400 acres of land to the water district for $900,000.

The reservoir would engulf 15 archaeological sites that include Paleo-Indian culture and pioneer settlements. In December 2006, the Kaibab Band of Paiute objected to the project in a letter, saying the tribe wanted to preserve what remains of its heritage by protecting those archaeological sites.

Public comment on the project is being accepted until Nov. 5.

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Information from: The Salt Lake Tribune

(Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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