Frank W. Haws

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Purpose and Scope of Study.

The 1963 Utah State Legislature authorized the Utah Water and Power Board (now the Utah Division of Water Resources) to develop a state water plan in order to give coordination and direction to the activities of all state and federal agencies concerned with Utah's water resources. To facilitate the development of this plan, a proposal was submitted through the State Planning Coordinator in the Governor's Office to the Urban Renewal Administration of the Housing and Home Finance Agency. Funding was approved effective May 19, 1966, under the Urban Planning Assistance Program authorized by Section 701 of the Housing Act of 1954, as amended. Matching funds for the necessary land use and hydrologic investigations have been provided by the Utah Division of water Resources and the Utah Water Research Laboratory.

A better understanding of the state's water resources, the way in which the water resources are being used, and the opportunities for further water conservation is an essential foundation in the development of a water plan. This understanding can be obtained only by careful study of each stream basin using recognized hydrologic techniques. Such a study must be designed to account for the water which appears as runoff, to isolate opportunities for improvement in water management, and to indicate opportunities for increasing the effective supply by eliminating nonproductive uses. Water planning must be based upon a reasonably good appraisal of the water supply and its quality at points within the system. In addition, since any proposed change in the place or type of water use will have an effect upon the total hydrologic system, this effect must be appraised before any possible development plan can be recommended.

The effort required to inventory the land and water resources throughout the state has necessitated a division of the workload. This division among numerous agencies and individuals has required that certain guidelines be prepared to insure compatibility in the end products. This is particularly essential since the inventory data will also be used later for testing various water management possibilities. The general outline for the land use and water resources inventories follows.

1. Review existing land use data for each hydrologic area and determine its adequacy for meeting the needs of the water planning program.

2. Conduct field land use surveys for those areas where inadequate information is available in order to delineate the carious land use categories for each hydrologic area and subarea. Summarize the acreage date for use in the water budget studies.

3. For each subarea, determine the quantity and quality of runoff. Also, assemble and prepare for computer processing relevant available data regarding the hydrology and climate of each area, together with appropriate maps and charts.

4. Investigate relationships between precipitation and runoff with respect to both time and space. In this regard, factors influencing runoff, such as physiography, geology, vegetative cover, slope, elevation, and aspects are evaluated.

5. Estimate all major depletions from the flow system of the area.

6. Prepare water budgets which account for the time and spatial distribution of the total water resources within each hydrologic subarea.

The work reported herein was conducted as a portion of the contractual agreement between the Utah Division of Water Resources and the Utah Water Research Laboratory. The hydrologic basin described in this report is the Bear River study unit, shown in Fig. 1. A map of the basin depicting the drainage net along with cities and major highways is presented in Fig. 2. The Bear River study unit is the drainage area in Utah tributary to the Bear River; however, the scope of this study was extended to include the portion of the basin which is in Wyoming and Idaho.