Provo River Flow Restoration
The Provo River flows nearly 70 miles from its origin in the Uinta Mountains in northeast Utah to its terminus at Utah Lake located in central Utah. The river brings much needed water to the arid region as numerous reservoirs and diversions are found along its course. Due to significant out-of-stream demands for Provo River water, flows in the river are highly regulated and several stretches go dry due to human use. The 1.25-mile reach from the Murdock diversion to the Olmsted power plant continues to be impacted by extremely low flows during the summer months. This annual dewatering effects the ecology of the river corridor, negatively impacts native fish species, undermines recreation, and creates water quality concerns including high stream temperatures and low dissolved oxygen.
Trout Unlimited is leading efforts to restore flows to the Provo River. The proposed project will establish a water management agreement to alter water diversions by the Central Utah Water Conservancy District (CUWCD) at the Olmstead diversion to reduce diversions from the Provo River during periods of summer low flow.
Low flows result in increased temperatures and lower dissolved oxygen, which can stress fish and other aquatic species. A lack of water also poses problems for fish passage and results in reduced habitat for fish. These efforts to increase flows through this reach will help to alleviate these problems, help to achieve desired flow targets downstream, and contribute to the health of the fish community within the greater Provo River. This project will also benefit local communities as the Provo River Trail and Canyon View Park allows river access to recreational users for in-water recreation, hiking, picnicking, and other activities.
* Project supports voluntary transactions to change, reduce or stop water use – either temporarily or permanently – to protect or restore water for environmental benefit