Introduction – Emigration Canyon Water Litigation





Utah State Third District Court Judge Su Chon –


 –  United States Congressional Leaders –


Hearing Utah State Division of Water Rights – The ECHO-Association Presentation


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 suffered total depleation near the eastern boundary of the state capital city less than 2 miles from Utah’s Hogle Zoo.

Over the past 30 years, Emigration Canyon residents have documented impairment of private wells directly to the Utah State Division of Water Rights (“Utah State Engineer“) immediately following construction of Boyer Well Nr. 1 (1987), Boyer Well Nr. 2 (1994), the Brigham Fork (2003), and the Upper Freeze Creek Wells (2013) by The Boyer Company LC and Emigration Improvement District (“EID” aka ECID).

The destruction of single-family domestic wells by the large-diameter commercial wells currently operated by EID was accurately predicted by the Utah State Engineer’s Office in 1966.

EID’s own hydrologist Jack Arnold Barnett further 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 needed for the replenishment of private wells located nearby to include the operation of the active federal military cemetery deeded to the Mount Olivet Cemetery Association by the United States Congress in 1909.

Contrary to EID’s repeated denials, in December 2018, The ECHO-Association acquired sufficient evidence that EID, the Mayor of Emigration Canyon Joseph Smolka, Deputy Mayor Jennifer HawkesThe Boyer Company L.C. and City Development Inc. and the Simplifi Company have willfully impaired more than forty (40) private wells and the Emigration Canyon Steam by exceeding the natural recharge rate of the Canyon’s Twin Creek Aquifer through a water extraction method known as groundwater mining.

The ECHO-Association estimates that the water table in Emigration Canyon has dropped 40 – 120 feet in the past 30 years drastically affecting private wells,  drinking-water qualitysurface water springs and Canyon vegetation.

We further believe that the substantial reduction of the water table through the operation of Boyer Well Nr. 1 and the Upper Freeze Creek Well has led to massive fissures and ground collapse in the Emigration Oaks PUD (Freeze Creek drainage area) thereby threatening homes built on Pioneer Fork Road, Pioneer Ridge Circle, Donner Hill Circle, Last Camp Circle and Emigration Estates Road.

Financial records reveal that EID Trustee Chairman Michael Scott Hughes promised future water service to at least 97 vacant parcels including private land-developers and “EID Advisory Committee Members” R. Steve Creamer and Walter J. Plumb IIISteve Hook to include EID contractor Bill Cutting.

Moreoever, despite overwhelming evidence of groundwater mining of Emigration Canyon aquifers, and the destructive effects documented in Alicante, Spaincentral and western United States and Cedar Valley, Utah, Utah State Engineer Kent L. Jones recently approved EID’s proposal to  construct over 500 additional homes in Emigration Canyon contrary to EID’s own buildout limit established in 1996.

In order to protect The ECHO-Association surface water right 57-8947 and the Emigration Canyon Owl Preserve, we have filed legal action with the Utah Court of Appeals to prevent further destruction of the Emigration Canyon aquifers and stream.