The Central Utah Water Conservancy District (District) and the Department of the Interior – Central Utah Project Completion Act Office (Interior), as Joint Lead Agencies, have initiated an Environmental Assessment (EA) to evaluate the replacement of a 1.4-mile segment of the Alpine Aqueduct at the mouth of Provo Canyon in Orem and the potential addition of pump stations. The Alpine Aqueduct, through a connection with the Jordan Aqueduct, delivers water to approximately half of Utah’s population including Orem and Provo.
The EA is evaluating these improvements to protect this critical pipeline from geological hazards that are common along the Wasatch Front, such as landslides and earthquakes, and provide reliable service to Utahns well into the future.
Why Does the Alpine Aqueduct Reach 1 Need to be Replaced?
A recent KSL article outlines the importance of replacing aging water infrastructure and the catastrophic results that could occur if this infrastructure is ignored. Four major aqueducts along the Wasatch Front are included in the nation’s aging water infrastructure. Millions of Utahns depend on these aqueducts to deliver drinking water throughout the Wasatch Front. Three of the four aqueducts, including the Alpine Aqueduct Reach 1, cross the Wasatch fault zone. The age of the aqueducts combined with their precarious position along the fault zone makes them vulnerable to natural disasters like earthquakes.
Since these water delivery systems were established over 40 years ago, the occurrence of a natural disaster could make them inoperable for several months. If these systems were to fail, it is “incalculable the harm it would do,” said John Crofts, Earthquake Program Manager for Utah Division of Emergency Management. "If we don't have water, that is just not OK. Nothing is OK if we don't have water."
The Alpine Aqueduct Reach 1 EA is evaluating improvements and resiliency measures to protect this critical pipeline and ensure Utahns have reliable service in the future. Read more about the how the Utah Seismic Safety Commission (USSC) is prioritizing aqueducts here .
On November 30, 2021, the District hosted a Public Scoping Meeting to provide more information about the study and began a formal 30-day comment period where the public could submit their questions or concerns. Click here to view a summary report of the public feedback received during this formal comment period. Analysis of these comments and alternatives will be included in the draft environmental document, which will be available for public comment in the summer of 2022.
How Can I Provide Comments?
The formal comment period for the Scoping Phase closed on Dec. 20, 2021. However, the public is encouraged to provide feedback throughout the environmental process. Another opportunity for public comment will be available in summer 2022. Here are ways to give your input:
How Can I Provide Useful Feedback?
- • Comments should be clear, concise, and relevant to the issues at hand and the actions being considered.
- • Feedback should be solution-oriented and provide specific examples of concerns and ideas.
- • Please remember that commenting is not a form of “voting.” The outcome of the EA will be based on technically sound and objective analyses, not on how many people like or dislike what is being studied.