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Conservation Division

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food works with farmers and ranchers through conservation planning and assistance designed to benefit the soil, water, air, plants, and animals that result in productive lands and healthy ecosystems.

The Conservation Programs within the Division work to sustain Utah’s agricultural lands and protect the state’s natural resources. A watershed-wide approach is used to solve resource issues and develop conservation projects and provide funding options from multiple state and federal programs. There are few organizations in the state that rival the work that is done in the division.

One program of particular note is the Utah Grazing Improvement Program (UGIP) GIP, which is broad-based and focuses on rangeland resource health. Its mission is to “improve the productivity and sustainability of our rangelands and watersheds.”

Well planned and managed livestock grazing is an important landscape-scale tool for maintaining healthy rangelands, watersheds, and wildlife habitats, and that healthy rangelands contribute to a healthy livestock industry and productive rural economies.

Mark Quilter, Ground Water Specialist
(801) 538-9905

NOTE: The State Ground Water Program is no longer accepting applications for water testing, as the program has been suspended.

The State Ground Water Program, administered by the Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF), was implemented in 1996 to assist private well owners in determining the quality of their drinking, irrigation, and livestock water. The program receives assistance from local conservation districts in the selection of wells to sample.

Ground Water Reports:

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

February 1999 Program Update

1999

1998

1997

1996

Mark Quilter, Ground Water Specialist
(801) 538-9905

The Colorado River Basin Salinity Control Program was established during the enactment of the Clean Water Act. The seven Colorado River Basin states joined with federal agencies to prevent damages to lower basin states (Arizona, California, and Nevada) at the same time allow upper basin states to develop their compacted waters. A program that focused on improving irrigation efficiency was put in place and funded through Bureau of Reclamation, United States Department of Agriculture and the Basin States.

In Utah the program operates as a partnership with BOR, USDA, EPA, USGS, US F&WS, and BLM as federal agencies and UDAF, DEQ, DNR, local conservation districts, local conservancy districts, and local irrigation entities. These partners discuss, plan and implement projects which reduce the movement and flow of salts into the Colorado River and its tributaries. The projects also benefit local Utah residents with improved irrigation infrastructure, longer irrigation season, more efficient water use, and increased economies in project areas. Representatives from the state agency and local partners are members of the CRBSCP Forum, Advisory Council, and Workgroup which oversee and guide the salinity control program among the seven basin states.