Background of the Narrows

As early as the 1930's it was agreed that Sanpete County needed water storage (we 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 (primarily the County Commission and Representative Jim Matheson) continue to object. (The other four members of Utah's congressional delegation support the Narrows.)

On March 29, 2010, the Bureau of Reclamation's Provo office released a Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (which we'll refer to in this website as the SDEIS, or EIS). The publication of this document was a major milestone in the process of getting the Narrows built. The next major step toward the Narrows will be Bureau of Reclamation issuing what we hope will be a favorable Record of Decision, likely in the Spring of 2012.

You can see the entire SDEIS by clicking here.

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