The Narrows

In the fairly near future, Sanpete County intends to begin construction on a small dam and reservoir.

Called the Narrows, this project will be located about two miles east of Fairview Canyon. To see the proposed Narrows location, click here.

The Narrows has been discussed and promised to Sanpete County for nearly 80 years. When complete, it will provide a means of storing water that runs out of the mountains to our east for use as mid and late summer irrigation and culinary water.


Background of the Narrows

As early as the 1930's it was agreed that Sanpete County needed water storage (north Sanpete had none), and that Carbon County needed more water storage (Scofield was half its present size at the time).

Plans were made to build a storage reservoir in Sanpete, and to double the size of Scofield. Sanpete's project was going to be built first, then Scofield expanded after that. Both counties were happy with the plan.

During World War II, it was discovered that Scofield was failing. A catastrophic failure of Scofield would do huge damage, including wiping out the railroad line that carried Carbon's coal to Geneva Steel in Orem. The damage to Carbon's economy, and to Geneva Steel's contribution to America's war effort was simply unacceptable.

So Sanpete agreed that Scofield should be expanded and repaired first. Sanpete's water storage could wait.

Scofield was repaired, and doubled in size. World War II ended.

Then everyone--except the people of Sanpete--seemed to forget that Sanpete still needed the water project it was promised.

For the past 40+ years, every time Sanpete County has attempted to move its water project (the Narrows) ahead, the Carbon County Commission, the Carbon Water Conservancy District, the Price Water Users' Association, etc. have objected.

The objections have ranged from questions about who owns the water, to environmental issues, to where the project should be located, and a host of other protests.

Every question has been well-answered, even by Utah's Supreme Court and the US Department of Justice. Still, Carbon County and multiple environmental groups continue to object.

In November 2012, the Bureau of Reclamation released a Final Environmental Impact Statement (which we'll refer to in this website as the FEIS, or EIS). The publication of this document was a major milestone in the process of getting the Narrows built. On January 3, 2013, Reclamation also issued a favorable Record of Decision for the Narrows Project.

You can see the entire Environmental Impact Statement and Record of Decision at http://www.usbr.gov/uc/envdocs/eis/narrows/FinalEIS/index.html

For a presentation providing further background about the Narrows, click here.