Date of Award:


Document Type:


Degree Name:

Master of Science (MS)


Wildland Resources

Department name when degree awarded

Wildlife Biology

Committee Chair(s)

Jessop B. Low


Jessop B. Low


Vaughn Hansen


Vergil Draney


Water, one of the major resources of the western lands, controls the economy and expansion of the communities. Industry, agriculture, timber, livestock, game and home water needs are all dependent upon a steady and continued flow of water from wells, springs, and rivers. Water is derived from one source, precipitation, which occurs in the form of rain and snow. Watersheds which are properly managed accumulate a substantial snow pack during the winter which is the life-giving source of water for our springs.

The Utah Water and Power Report (1948) indicates the annual precipitation over the entire state of Utah averaged 11.5 inches. A total of 53 ,000,000 acre-feet of water falls within the boundaries of the state of Utah each year, the amount varying with elevation and topography. The Bear River contributes an average of 725,000 acre-feet. A total of 2,334,000 acre-feet is carried away each year by streams leaving the state, leaving the net amount of 51 ,391,000 acre-feet to be consumed within the state. Water consumed on irrigated lands represents less than five percent of the total amount while evapotranspirational losses from the watersheds and grazing lands amount to almost 75 percent of the total water supply. Utah has approximately 1,500,000 acres of land suitable for agricultural production without a water supply; and of the 1,000,000 or more acres of irrigated land, only 25 percent has adequate and dependable supply of water. Droughty conditions and low water supplies are becoming more acute in the state of Utah each year, creating a need for water conservation.