What Can I Do To Help?

The things you can do to support the Narrows right now are to:

  • Voice support for it when you visit with elected officials (whether local, county, state or national).
  • If you have acquaintances who live in Carbon County, or who belong to various environmental groups, seek their support for the Narrows. Arguments are seldom productive, but telling people rationally how important the Narrows is to Sanpete's well-being can be helpful.
  • Write to Utah's congressional delegation in Washington D.C. Addresses are provided below.

Narrows supporters provided a substantial amount of favorable comment about the Narrows to The Bureau of Reclamation as Reclamation prepared the Environmental Impact Statement that was issued in November 2012. (Of course, Carbon County and environmental interests submitted a significant number of objections, as well.) Thank you for that support!

Here are some ideas you may want to consider as you talk or write about the Narrows. But remember, your original thoughts are best.

  • Sanpete County has been promised a water storage facility (the Narrows Project) for decades. Our county desperately needs the water storage that would be provided by the Narrows Dam and Reservoir. Once the snow pack has melted and runs past the communities and farms, Sanpete is out of water for the year.
  • Sanpete has invested heavily over the years to consider various sites for the Narrows. The current proposed site is the most ideal, would cost least to construct the dam, would require no pumping costs, and would be the least costly to maintain. The Narrows should be built where proposed, as proposed.
  • The Narrows, as presently proposed by the Sanpete Water Conservancy District, will cost less to build, is a far better dam site, will do a better job of providing the needed water, and will provide other public benefits (recreation and a fishery) that the suggested alternatives do not.
  • Ultimately, water supply is the critical issue. People--and their need for water--are far more important than any issues that may lead one to believe the Narrows should not be built. Sanpete County badly needs the water storage that would be denied us should the Narrows not be built.
  • The Narrows has been promised to Sanpete for nearly 80 years.
  • In the 1930's, water storage was promised to Sanpete County, and the doubling of Scofield Reservoir for additional water storage was promised to Carbon County. Carbon received their 30,000 acre-feet of additional water storage; Sanpete has yet to receive the 5,400 acre-feet we were promised.
  • Sanpete County clearly owns the water rights involved. The Utah Supreme Court and the US Department of Justice have both acknowledged Sanpete's water rights.
  • Construction of the Narrows will have a very favorable jobs impact, creating 369 job years of employment, almost exclusively for Utahns, particularly residents of Sanpete and surrounding counties1. That's the equivalent of 369 jobs that last a full year, or 185 jobs that last two years, or 123 jobs that last three years, etc.
  • After construction, the Narrows will create about $1 million per year of economic benefit, primarily in Sanpete County. This economic benefit is anticipated to continue for 100 years, likely longer2.
  • The Narrows will provide substantial recreation benefits (fishing, boating, camping, and general outdoors activities) for the residents of Sanpete, Carbon, Millard and other counties.
  • The budget to create the Narrows includes a substantial amount to mitigate environmental, recreational and other issues that may be impacted by building the dam and reservoir. From environmental and recreational perspectives, the area surrounding the Narrows will be left in a much-improved condition.
  • The federal government spends money on issues that seem frivolous when compared to people's need for water to earn a living. For example, in/near Utah Lake, over $40 million has been spent to protect the June Sucker. Consider priorities, please. Isn't water for people more important than something like the June Sucker? The entire Narrows Project will cost less, and the funds will be repaid by sale of the stored water.
  • Sanpete County has a significant water shortage, which is likely to only get worse.
  • Well-researched documents conclude that, "...a combination of conservation, new water development and new storage facilities need to be implemented to reduce on-going water shortages." Sanpete has been making those same points for over seventy years.
  • Water conservation is a very important element of the solution to the water shortage problem. Sanpete County has aggressively implemented water conservation infrastructure and techniques for many years which have saved 8,000 acre-feet of water so far. We will continue to conserve, and anticipate saving more water. But conservation alone will never--no matter how effectively done--alleviate the problem, particularly in Northern Sanpete County.
  • Reclamation's Final EIS points out that new water development is necessary.
  • The EIS points out that new storage facilities need to be implemented. Sanpete has dedicated a huge amount of energy, financial and emotional resources for many years to identifying the most appropriate, effective and environmentally-friendly means of storing water. The Narrows Dam and Reservoir best fulfills those objectives. Many independent engineering studies (that far pre-date the Final EIS) agree with the Final EIS's observations and conclusions.
  • Carbon County has suggested that if this project goes forward, Price & other Carbon County communities will be left with insufficient water; not even enough, they say, to fight fires. Carbon has received all the water it was promised. It is Carbon's responsibility to determine how to best operate their water resources (Scofield) such that they can take care of their highest priority needs first. It's not up to Sanpete to tell them how, or to provide them with the water to do so. It's Carbon's responsibility to decide how to meet their priorities. Right now, they're doing it with Sanpete's water.
  • Some have expressed concerns about the Narrows' impact on the water quality in Scofield Reservoir. Plans and budgets for the Narrows include measures to mitigate any impact that might be caused by the Narrows Project. In fact, it appears that Sanpete is over-mitigating, and is not obligated to do as much mitigation as is planned. We're doing it to be responsible stewards, and good care-takers of our lands and lands around us. But there comes a point when enough is enough. Total mitigation dollars budgeted are upward of $4 million. Over 10% of the Narrows Project budget is mitigation & recreation.
  • Yes, species such as mule deer and Brewer's Sparrow (mentioned in the EIS as a concern) are important. But storing water to enable Sanpete residents to farm and have residential water is more important.
  • As of January 3, 2013, Reclamation has approved the use of Reclamation-withdrawn lands for the Narrows Project.
  • A perpetual easement should be granted for the construction, operation and maintenance of the Narrows.
  • Encourage those with whom you speak to maintain perspective. The proposed location of the Narrows is nothing more than a large, flat pasture with a small steam meandering through it. Putting a reservoir there would greatly enhance the functional and aesthetic quality of that area. Whatever animal or plant life that might be disturbed are either expendable, or would regrow elsewhere.
  • Carbon County received its additional water storage in the 1940's (strengthening and doubling the size of Scofield). The US Department of the Interior, and Carbon County agreed (in writing in 1943) that Sanpete would get water storage as well. The Narrows is that project. It's time to make good on the promises made to Sanpete County.
  • The State of Utah agrees that the Narrows should be built. Utah's House of Representatives and State Senate passed Resolutions in 2008 and 2009. The State's Natural Resources experts and the State Engineer agree that the Narrows should be built. In 1984, Carbon County agreed--in writing--that the Narrows Project should be built, and agreed not to oppose it.
  • Sanpete is being very careful with the water we have. In an independent study, Utah State University recognized Sanpete County as a leader in water conservation measures.
  • Every reasonable alternative to the Narrows has been considered. There are no alternatives that are as productive, cost-effective, or environmentally-friendly as the proposed Narrows site.

1 Based on Office of the President Council of Economic Advisors estimates.

2 Based on US Department of Agriculture Economic Research Service projections.

Write to our Senators and Congressmen at:

Senator Orrin Hatch
131 Russell Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Senator Mike Lee
316 Hart Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

Congressman Jason Chaffetz
2464 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Congressman Rob Bishop
123 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Congresswoman Mia Love
217 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

Thank you very much. Your efforts are extremely important to Sanpete's efforts to get much-needed water storage.