American Society of Civil Engineers

Water Banking as a Method to Improve Water Management in Utah’s Sevier River Basin

by Wynn R. Walker, (Associate Dean, College of Engineering, and Professor, Biological and Irrigation Engineering Utah State University, Logan, Utah E-mail:
Section: Improved District Management under Increased Competition for Scarce Water Supplies, pp. 1-7, (doi:

     Access full text
     Purchase Subscription
     Permissions for Reuse  

Document type: Conference Proceeding Paper
Part of: World Environmental and Water Resource Congress 2006: Examining the Confluence of Environmental and Water Concerns
Abstract: The Sevier River Basin in central Utah is one of the state’s most critically water-short areas. For nearly a century the users of the Sevier River have relied on multiple water-banking mechanisms to improve their water management practices. Three of the most important water banking mechanisms are carry-over storage credits, temporary storage of direct flow rights, and intra-basin exchanges. This paper demonstrates the impact these three mechanisms have had historically in the Sevier Basin. Carry-over storage accounts for about 30% of annual water deliveries. Direct flow right storage improves these small rights by about 20% in one case and 5% in another. The intra-basin exchanges account for about 17% for one right. Water banking is a viable option for further water management improvements in the Sevier River Basin but the legal and institutional constraints will be difficult to overcome.

ASCE Subject Headings:
Water management
River basins