Introduction – Emigration Canyon Water Litigation

For the first time since the the Mormon Pioneers entered the Salt Lake Valley over 170 years ago, it was reported in September 2018 that the Emigration Canyon Stream is completely depleted near the eastern boundary of the state capital city less than 2 miles from Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

For the past 30 years, Emigration Canyon residents have reported impairment of private wells directly to the Utah State Division of Water Rights to no avail.

Emigration Improvement District’s (“EID” aka ECID) own hydrologist Jack Barnett testified in December 1995 that it will “take decades — twenty, fifty, seventy-five years” for water treated in the luxurious Emigration Oaks development to recharge the Canyon Stream.

Contrary to EID’s repeated denials, The ECHO-Association has acquired sufficient evidence that EID, the Mayor of Emigration Canyon Joseph Smolka, The Boyer Company L.C. and City Development Inc. have willfully impaired more than forty (40) private wells and the Emigration Canyon Steam by extracting millions of gallons from the Canyon Aquifer via four (4) large-diameter commercial wells.

Contrary to EID’s continued misrepresentations to Emigration Canyon residents, the last two wells constructed by EID in October 2003 and 2013 were approved by the Utah State Division of Water Rights under temporary change applications and in June 2014, EID revealed that it was providing water service to 273 homes although only 188 domestic units had been approved by the Utah State Engineer under permanent change application “a12710b” previously belonging to the Mount Olivet Cemetary Association (57-8865) and EID itself had limited Emigration Oaks buildout to 98 domestic units.

The ECHO-Association has since learned that EID issued six (6) water letters for new construction and promised future water service to ninety-seven (97) vacant lots in violation of EID’s own Water Conservation and Management Plan adopted under federal-funding guidelines as well as violated the conditional terms of EID’s current water rights.

Should the Utah State Engineer approve EID’s permanent change applications a44045″ (57-7796) and “a44046” (57-10711)all homes connected to the EID water system or on private wells operated with water rights leased from EID will have a priority date of September 12, 2018 — the most junior water rights in the entire Emigration Canyon.

To protect senior well owners and the Emigration Canyon Stream, The ECHO-Association has commenced action with the Utah State Engineer to terminate water extraction via the Brigham Fork and Upper Freeze Creek Wells, and prevent development of a Gun Range and Wedding Resort by protesting EID’s permanent change applications for all proposed 118 points-of-diversion.

According to EID’s own 2017 Customer Confidence Report, it’s two remaining wells (Boyer Well #1 and Boyer Well #2) has twice the capacity to fulfill the needs of existing Canyon homes connected to its water system even during summer months.

During the December 19 public hearing, EID hydrologist testified that it will be unable to provide water service to the homes currently connected to the EID water service, if the Utah State Engineer does not approve permanent change application “a44045” before January 16, 2019.