MILLCREEK. Residents within the boundary of the Parleys Creek Subdivision recently received a letter from the Department of Natural Resources indicating that they may be an owner of a property or water right. Other Millcreek residents (Millcreek Canyon, Mt. Olympus and along Mill Creek to 7th East – I-15) will be receiving a letter mid-November. See map for areas:…

This type of letter is a fairly common occurrence throughout our arid state. State law limits irrigation water rights to those who are actually using the water. (Municipal water that comes through your taps is not at issue).  Periodically, the state engineer reviews who is using water, including water in the many irrigation ditches throughout Millcreek. Sometimes the courts get involved. People who don’t claim water rights don’t need to do anything.  At some future date, people who do claim water rights will need to prove their claims. Those residents should attend the meetings scheduled by the Department of Natural Resources (which will be listed in the Department’s letter).

Anyone who gets one of these letters should confirm the following: 1) are they using irrigation water; 2) do they have evidence of a water right (by a grant on their deed, possession of a certificate for water shares or other such evidence).  They should also document how much irrigation water they use and when. They will have to fill out a claim form in the future and the state engineer will evaluate it and either agree or contest it in court at some point.

Click here for an interesting story on the history of urban irrigation water within the Salt Lake City water system, written a while back by LeRoy W. Hooten, Jr., former long-time director of the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake City,