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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- Water officials have released the draft environmental impact statement on the last major component of the Central Utah Project, the mammoth, decades-long project to transfer water from the Uintas to the Wasatch Front.
This component, called the Utah Lake System, would transport water from Strawberry Reservoir to Utah and Salt Lake counties. It is expected to require 58 miles of new pipeline, with completion by 2015.
The draft impact statement released Monday by the U.S. Department of Interior, the Central Utah Water Conservancy District and the Utah Reclamation Mitigation and Conservation Commission.
Richard Bay, assistant manager for the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, said completion of the Utah Lake system is needed to meet the rapid population growth projected over the next two decades in Salt Lake County.
"It's very important as a water supply, but it also appears to be very important to do some environmental mitigation," said Bay.
The ULS is largely the offshoot of the earlier proposed Spanish Fork-Nephi System, which would have sent the water to alfalfa farmers in east Juab County. That project was abandoned over concerns about water quality and water rights.
Under the ULS proposal, the water once destined for Juab instead would be put to municipal use in Salt Lake County and for outdoor watering use in south Utah County.
The ULS proposal calls for the annual distribution of 101,900 acre-feet of Strawberry Reservoir water.
Salt Lake County would get 30,000 acre-feet through a pipeline from Spanish Fork Canyon to the Provo Reservoir Canal.
Another 30,000 acre-feet would flow to communities in southern Utah County for secondary irrigation systems, with 1,590 acre-feet for municipal use in that area.
Finally, 40,310 acre-feet would flow into Utah Lake as an exchange for water now stored in Jordanelle Reservoir for use in Salt Lake County.
Some of the exchange water would flow down the Spanish Fork River, while some would be piped to Hobble Creek, Provo River and Mona Reservoir to benefit June sucker habitat.
(Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)