Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System

The Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System (SACS) completed in the late 1980s, is the single largest component of the Bonneville Unit of the Central Utah Project (CUP). It is a system of reservoirs, tunnels, pipelines, and diversion dams designed to collect flows of 10 streams that are tributary to the Strawberry or Duchesne Rivers and which drain the south slope of the Uinta Mountains of eastern Utah. The system brings that water west to the populous Wasatch Front for agriculture, municipal and industrial uses.

The system head is on Rock Creek, in Duchesne County, Utah. Part of the flows of Rock Creek are diverted, along with flows from nine other tributaries including: South Fork Rock Creek, Hades Creek, Twin Creek, Wolf Creek, West Fork of the Duchesne River, Currant Creek, Layout Creek, Water Hollow Creek, and the Strawberry River, and conveyed to Strawberry Reservoir through the 36.8 mile-long Strawberry Aqueduct.

Upper Stillwater Reservoir, with a capacity of 32,009 acre-feet, serves as a regulating reservoir at the head of the Strawberry Aqueduct to provide temporary storage during the high runoff period for later diversion to the aqueduct and storage in Strawberry Reservoir. Currant Creek Reservoir, with a total capacity of 15,671 acre-feet, diverts Currant Creek and five tributaries into the Strawberry Aqueduct.

The size and capacity of the system increases as each stream is diverted into it. It begins with a 9-foot diameter tunnel with 285 cfs capacity at Upper Stillwater Reservoir and ends with a 620 cfs capacity open-channel section entering Strawberry Reservoir.

The system is about 45 miles long, including tunnels, pipelines and reservoirs. Diversions of water from the eastern Uinta Basin to the Wasatch Front via the SACS average 101,900 acre-feet annually. [ Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System Map ]

Strawberry Reservoir, the terminal reservoir of the SACS, was originally constructed in 1908 to serve one of the earliest federal water projects, the Strawberry Valley Project. The reservoir was enlarged in 1972 from 273,000 acre feet to 1,106,500 acre feet with the construction of Soldier Creek Dam on the Strawberry River. The reservoir is now a CUP project feature. Some of the water stored in Strawberry Reservoir is also released downstream in the Strawberry River to support sport fishing, but most of the stored water is for delivery through the Wasatch Mountains to the Bonneville Basin as the largest component of the water supply for the CUP.

In addition to water development, the reservoirs of the Strawberry Aqueduct and Collection System provide flood control, recreation, and fish and wildlife benefits to the people of eastern Utah.

The SACS also releases 44,400 acre feet of water at various points along its course to support and enhance trout and other sport fishing annually in four important Uinta Basin streams - Strawberry River, Current Creek, West Fork Duchesne River, and Rock Creek.  Three of these rivers, the Strawberry River, Current Creek, West Fork Duchesne River, have been designated “Blue Ribbon” trout streams by the state of Utah, the highest quality fishing experiences in the state.

The following tables provide additional information about the various elements of the SACS.

Major Storage Reservoirs of the SACS

Storage Reservoir
Storage Capacity
Surface Acers (Full Pool)
Upper Stillwater
Rock Creek
32,009 acre-feet
314 acres
Currant Creek
Currant Creek
15,671 acre-feet
286 acres
Strawberry River
1,106,000 acre-feet
17,164 acres

Major Diversion Structures of the SACS

Stream Diverted
Diversion Structure
Diversion Capacity (cubic feet per second)
South Fork Rock Creek
Doc Diversion
100 cfs
Hades Creek
Hades Diversion
30 cfs
Twin Creek
Win Diversion
5 cfs
Wolf Creek
Rhodes Diversion
15 cfs
Layout Creek
Layout Diversion
20 cfs
Water Hollow Creek
Water Hollow Diversion
20 cfs
West Fork Duchesne River
Vat Diversion
300 cfs

Main Conveyance Facilities of the SACS

Map of Central Utah Project with SAC component highlighted
Click on image for larger view
Main Tunnels and Pipelines
Length (approx.)
Stillwater Tunnel
8.4 miles
Hades Tunnel
4.2 miles
Rhodes Tunnel
0.8 miles
West Fork Pipeline
4.2 miles
Vat Tunnel
7.3 miles
Current Tunnel
1.7 miles
Layout Tunnel
3.3 miles
Water Hollow Tunnel
4.1 miles


Note: Numerous smaller feeder pipelines and conduits, not listed here, also bring diverted water into the main pipelines and tunnels.