Tooele Transcript Bulletin – News in Tooele, Utah

October 17, 2013
Irrigation co. shuts down for season

The Settlement Canyon Irrigation Company closed shop for the season Tuesday with water to spare, despite an ongoing county-wide drought.

Initially the company feared water stores would not last through the end of the season, but late-season rains helped, said Gary Bevan, Settlement Canyon Irrigation Company president. The reservoir had about 20 feet of water left when the company shut off the system on Oct. 15, and the water level looks as though it has already increased.

“It’s gained, just looking at it, maybe 18 inches, since we shut it off,” said Bevan.

But for the most part, drought conditions in Tooele remain unchanged. Drought conditions across most of the county are still considered severe, even though the U.S. Drought Monitor, a joint service of the USDA and NOAA, has down graded 87 percent of the state to moderate drought conditions.

Water levels at the reservoir remain below normal, so at this point the fate of next year’s water supply depends on this winter’s snowfall, Bevan said.

“If we get a good snow pack and a good winter, we’ll be all right,” he said.

September and October rainfall has made the situation seem more hopeful, Bevan said, because the rain has saturated the soil. When spring comes, most of the runoff will flow directly into the reservoir, instead of absorbing into the soil.

The irrigation company also has plans to install a new pipeline next spring, which should bring additional water to the reservoir as well, Bevan said. The company originally intended to bring the pipeline online this year, but problems with easements delayed construction until too late in the season.

Emma Penrod

Staff Writer at Tooele Transcript Bulletin
Emma Penrod is a staff writer for the Tooele Transcript-Bulletin and covers Tooele City government, religion, health, the environment, ethnic issues and public infrastructure. A Tooele native, Penrod graduated from Tooele High School in 2010. She holds an associates degree from Utah State University, and a bachelor’s degree in communications from Brigham Young University. She worked for the newspaper as a high school intern starting in 2008. In 2010 she began working full-time in the newsroom until she left for college later that year. While at BYU, Penrod worked as a writer and editor for a small health magazine in Utah County. She interned with The Riverdale Press, a community newspaper in the Bronx, NY and with the Deseret News. She is also the author of two non-fiction books.

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