The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s recent release of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Narrows Dam on Gooseberry Creek in Sanpete County is likely to be contested in court. The relatively small water project would allow the Sanpete Water Conservancy District to develop an existing Gooseberry Project right to 5400 acre-feet of water for farmers’ late summer crop. It’s a project that has a history that goes back to the 1920’s but Peter Crookston, an environmental protection specialist with the Bureau, says the issue is far from resolved.
“There was about a thousand comments that we had to address and they were a lot of good questions that we had to analyze with the resource specialist. So there was a lot, there is a lot of interest in this project,” Crookston says.
Zach Frankel of the Utah Rivers Council says it’s ironic that this is moving forward in a state that claims to be very fiscally conservative.
"There are cheaper ways to get water to those rural farmers in Sanpete County that this quote-unquote agency just doesn’t want to follow through on,” says Frankel.
Both Frankel and Crookston, of the Bureau of Reclamation expect this project to end up in a court battle between Carbon and Sanpete County water users.