During the past two decades the District has been engaged in the development of scientific studies and reports to define the aquifer within the Cedar Valley Basin. 1 From those reports it has been documented that additional water resources will be necessary to sustain the aquifer and provide for the growth which is coming.  Recognizing there are multiple solutions to fix the water issues in the basin, in August 2015, the District solicited Water Development Project ideas from the public and other professionals. This was done to review all concepts and new ideas to ensure clean and reliable water will be available for future generations. The results have focused the District on prioritizing conservation, recharge, and importing water.

All submitted projects were reviewed by an Independent Expert Panel consisting of:

Click the topics below for detailed information.

The Panel Ranked the Proposed Water Development Projects​ in the following order:

When considering the Districts mandate of a 50-year planning horizon, the Panel recommended importing water as the best approach for a long-term solution of a growing community with a declining aquifer. After opting out of the Lake Powell Pipeline and Kolob Reservoir projects, the West Desert Water Supply & Conservation Project became Cedar Valley’s most feasible option to import water into the basin.
This project was highly encouraged by all members of the panel. Recharge projects are relativity inexpensive and make the best use of the water that we receive. This project was recommended as the best immediate focus for the District. In 2016, the State Engineer approved the Districts application to recharge. The District and Cedar City have developed several recharge basins and successfully recharged about 10,000 acre-feet of water in 2019.
The balance project is a good way of spreading the demand of the aquifer and would help certain areas of large withdrawal. However, this is not a new source of water and further evaluation of the cost of new infrastructure versus aquifer damage should be considered. This was coined as a band-aid fix, as it would work in the short-term understanding as the larger issue is mining the aquifer.
Water may be available in the cretaceous formations east of Cedar City. However, it would be difficult to pump and the water is likely connected to nearby springs and would have a impacts to existing flows and water rights. Further long-term testing and research would need to be conducted to ensure source reliability and that the impairment of existing water rights wouldn’t take effect.
Scientists among the water community stated that the water supply in the Fractured Quartz Monzonite is unreliable. However, this a positive idea for research because of the information that could be gained from existing wells, the development of new wells and the connection of these to the alluvium aquifer.

CICWCD Board Statement of Direction and Focus for Water Resources in Cedar Valley

Based on the recommendations from the expert panel the Board of Directors for the Water District formally provided direction on water development projects.

  1. Scientific Reports Conducted on the Cedar Valley