Title Image: Central Utah Project Completion Act Officebanner image photo: running water in mountain creekbanner image photo: agricultural sprinklerbanner image photo: blue heron standing on bank


- A -
Acre-foot - The volume of water covering one acre to a depth of one foot. One acre-foot is 43,560 cubic feet or 325,851 gallons. One acre foot is approximately the amount of household water used by a family of four in one year.

American Recovery & Reinvestment Act (of 2009) - P.L. 111-5, also known as the "Recovery Act" or "Stimulus Bill" provides Federal funds to stimulate the U.S. economy, provide jobs and counteract the 2008 economic recession.  About $50 million in ARRA funds was allocated to complete the CUP in 2009. 

Angler-day - One person fishing for 2.6 hours.

Animal Unit Month (AUM) - The amount of feed or forage consumed by on animal for 1 month. Equal to consumption of about 800 pounds of dry matter. With cattle 1 AUM is typically regarded as the consumption required for one cow and one calf for one month.

Aquifer - A subsurface or underground body of water.

Aqueduct - An artificial conduit or channel for conducting water over a distance. An aqueduct may be an open or closed conveyance structure.

Average annual flow - The sum of all monthly average flows for a 12-month period. Can be calculated for one year or as an average for all years in the period of record.

- B -
Baseline - The set of starting conditions from which changes, particularly environmental impacts, are quantified. Baseline is typically, but not always, the existing conditions. Baseline must recognize commitments for change that have already been approved but not yet implemented.

Beneficial use (of water) - Uses of water for which a legal right may be granted under Utah state water law; irrigation, domestic, stockwater, and industrial uses are recognized in Utah state water law as beneficial. In addition, fish culture, instream flow, hydropower and geothermal uses of water have been recognized as beneficial by the Utah State Engineer.

- C -
Candidate species - Any species of plant or animal for which the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has sufficient information on the biological status to propose as threatened or endangered under the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Cathodic protection - an electrical system designed to counteract the natural forces of corrosion (oxidation) that can adversely affect a buried steel materials, such as a steel pipeline. Cathodic protection systems consist of a sacrificial anode (a metal mass in the form of a plate or ribbon that is connected to the steel pipe and buried nearby), a cathode (the steel pipe itself) and necessary electrical connections. An electrical current is naturally generated from steel pipe in contact with moist soils and, if not controlled, causes corrosion. The cathodic protection system conveys this current from the pipe (cathode) to the sacrificial anode, which corrodes instead of the pipe. Anodes must be periodically replaced as they are progressively destroyed by this corrosion. Saline soils greatly aggravate corrosion of steel pipelines, making cathodic protection systems more important in order to protect buried pipelines. Cathodic protection systems can be passive (no added electrical charge) or "applied" or "impressed", whereby an active (although very low voltage) electrical charge is applied to the system. Cathodic protection greatly extends the operational life of a buried pipeline.

Confluence - The point where two or more water bodies come together. The point where a stream or creek joins a lake or wetland is also the confluence.

Compromise (or Compromise Elevation) - The water surface elevation of Utah Lake at which all valid water rights in the lake are able to be met. Compromise elevation is established by the Utah State Engineer (Div. of Water Rights) to be 4,489.045 feet above mean sea level. At Compromise elevation the outlet gates from the lake at the Jordan River must be fully open to avoid inundation of lands around the lake.

Conjunctive use (of groundwater and surface water) - The use of surface and groundwater in coordinated patterns that result in overall use efficiencies and water conservation. Conjunctive use projects often involve injecting surface water into groundwater aquifers by means of injection wells or infiltration ponds, so as to withdraw that stored water during dry weather conditions.

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) - an advisory council to the President of the United States established by the NEPA. CEQ published the guidelines (regulations) implementing NEPA, reviews federal programs for their effect on the environment, conducts environmental studies and advises the President on environmental matters.

Cubic feet per second (cfs) - A measure of water flow; the volume of water, in cubic feet, passing a given point in one second. One cfs is equal to 7.4 gallons per second or 1.9 acre-feet per day.

Culinary water - A water use classification that designates water to be used for indoor, human consumption or use.

Cultural resources - Lands, waters, objects or other resources related to the ways of living, or created by, any group of human beings which is capable of, and typically is, conveyed from one generation to another. Prehistoric or historic sites, traditional cultural properties, sacred sites (including cemeteries), and artifacts are examples of cultural resources when related to any group of human beings.

- D -
Diversion or point of diversion - A place where water is taken out of a river, stream or reservoir.

- E -
Easement - An interest in land short of fee title, providing the holder with access or other rights to certain uses of the parcel.

Eminent domain/condemnation - The right of government to take private property for public use, with just compensation.

Endangered species - Any species of plant or animal that is in danger of extinct throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Such species are identified by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) - A document that discusses the likely significant impacts of a proposed action.

Environmental Assessment (EA) - A concise public document which provides sufficient evidence and analysis for determining whether to prepare an EIS or a finding of no significant impact (FONSI).

Environmental Commitment - Action items, adopted by the Joint Lead Agencies as required parts of the proposed action, that are intended to avoid, minimize or compensate for anticipated adverse environmental impacts of the project. Environmental commitments may include environmental enhancements, research and monitoring. Environmental commitments are typically included in and adopted as part of the Record of Decision.

Exchange (of water) - A water rights process under which water in one location, or under one owner’s control, is traded for water in another location or under another owner’s control.

- F -
Fee title (acquisition) - total, unrestricted ownership of a parcel of land.

- G -
Gabion (baskets) - Wire basket filled with stone and placed in streambank environments to support embankments and to prevent erosion. Gabions are often stacked like bricks to form a foundation wall.

Groundwater - Water beneath the surface of the earth, often in aquifers, that feeds wells and springs and maintains the level of rivers and lakes in dry weather.

Groundwater discharge - The movement (usually laterally or upward) of water from a body of groundwater to its emergence into a surface water body such as a spring, lake, water well or stream channel.

Groundwwater recharge - The process of adding water to an aquifer or underground zone of saturation, often through an injection well or infiltration basin.

- H -
Habitat - The place where an animal or plant naturally or normally lives or grows.

Historic properties - Any prehistoric or historic district, site, building, structure or object included in, or eligible for inclusion in, the National Register of Historic Places.

Hydrology - The scientific study of the properties, distribution and effects of water. Also the local conditions of surface or groundwater in an area, its volume, movement or distribution.

Hydraulic(s) - Operated by or employing water; the science or laws governing water or other liquids in motion and their applications in engineering.

- I -
Indian Trust Assets - Resources, typically natural resources, held in trust by the Federal government on behalf of Native American tribes or individuals. Lands, minerals, hunting and fishing rights, water rights or other property rights are examples of such assets.

-J -
June sucker (fish) - Chasmistes liorus, a lake sucker fish and endangered species that occurs naturally only in Utah Lake and spawns naturally only in the lower Provo River.

Jurisdictional wetland - wetlands that meet federal criteria for hydrology, soils and vegetation and are regulated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers under Section 404 of the Clean Water Act.

- L -
Lacustrine - Pertaining to, produced by, or inhabiting a lake or still body of water.

Lentic - Pertaining to, produced by, or inhabiting slow flowing water.

Long-term impacts - Impacts, often environmental impacts, that continue after completion of a proposed action. The length of time may vary.

Lotic - Pertaining to, produced by, or inhabiting fast moving water of streams, creeks and rivers.

- M -
Mitigate, mitigation - To cause to become less severe or harmful; reduce impacts, often environmental impacts, by actions that avoid, minimize, reduce, eliminate or compensate impacts to resources.

Monitor - To systematically and repeatedly measure conditions in order to track changes over long periods of time.

Municipal and industrial (M&I) - water use classification that designates water for use in homes, offices or for industrial processes. M&I water is typically treated to a high quality level suitable for drinking and cooking.

- N -
National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 - (NEPA) [42 USC 4332 et seq.] The federal law mandating full disclosure and analysis of the expected environmental impacts of a proposed federal action. Any action authorized, funded, permitted or controlled by a federal agency is subject to NEPA.

Non-reimbursable project costs - Planning and construction costs for a water project for which there is no repayment obligation.  These are typically project features that have broad public benefits such as flood control, recreation, highway improvements, and fish and wildlife benefits (including instream flows). 

Noxious weeds - Plant species that are undesirable, conflict with, restrict or otherwise cause problems with intended land-use goals and objectives. Governments often have official lists of noxious weeds in their areas for which mandatory measures are specified for control.

- P -
Palustrian - defining a wetland area that is not continuously flooded.

Phreatophytes - Water-loving or water-requiring plants, typically with deep root systems capable of obtaining water from deep underground sources.

Pipeline - A tubular, closed, man-made water conveyance structure.

Priority storage - – A water storage right with a legally-assigned priority date. Such water is not subject to call (release) by other, more senior, water right and can be used in accordance with the right.

- R -
Reach - a specified section of a stream, river, canal, ditch, or pipe.

Record of Decision (ROD) - A document separate from but associated with and an EIS that publically discloses the responsible official’s decision on which alternative assessed in the EIS to implement and the reasons for that decision. The ROD typically also includes mitigation measures the action agency will implement to minimize environmental impacts.

Recovery Act - See American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).

Recovery (of a species) - The application of conservation or protective actions sufficient to improve the status or condition of a plant or animal species such that the protections of the federal Endangered Species Act of 1973 are no longer required; i.e., "delisting."

Recovery plan- a plan approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to guide the recovery and eventual delisting of a species on the federal Endangered Species List. Recovery Plans are typically prepared by a team of experts appointed by the USFWS to advise the Service on the recovery needs of a species.

Reimbursable project cost - Planning and construction costs for a water project that must be repaid to the federal government by the local project sponsor.  By federal law, these are typically limited to the costs allocated to irrigation, M&I, and hydropower development.  These costs are repaid, with interest (irrigation is exempt from interest), over a period of about 50 years.

Return flow (of water) - The flow of unconsumed water back to a water body after delivery for other purposes. Return flows may accrue to surface or underground water bodies.

Riparian - Related to or living or located on a streambank or edge of a natural or man-made water body such as a stream, river, canal or ditch.

Riprap - A foundation or sustaining wall of stones or chunks of concrete thrown together without order usually on an embankment slope to prevent erosion.

River basin - Geographic area of the earth’s surface from which all falling water flows, by gravity, to a single discharge point.

Riverine - Pertaining to rivers, streams or flowing water conditions.

- S -
Salinity - The concentration of dissolved "salts" in water; measured by total dissolved solids (TDS).

Secondary water, secondary water system - Untreated water, typically for outdoor use, diverted directly from a stream or reservoir and delivered by separate water systems to urban areas for outdoor watering needs such as gardens and lawns. Secondary water systems are maintained separately from treated water systems in homes and urban areas to avoid cross-contamination.

Scoping (meeting or process) - Process established under the National Environmental Policy Act of 1970 to identify and incorporate public input on the potential environmental impacts of proposed activities. Scoping results are typically disclosed in a NEPA document.

Socioeconomic (impacts) - Resource topic or discipline that addresses potential impacts of a proposed action on people and affected economies. Analysis includes impacts to businesses, communities, personal income, and public services such as recreation.

Standing crop - Biomass of a particular group of organisms (often fish species) present at any one time.

STORET station - A water quality sampling point defined by the EPA.

Substrate - Sediment that makes up a creek, river or reservoir bottom.

- T -
Threatened species - Any animal or plant likely to become endangered within the foreseeable future throughout all or a significant portion of its range. Such species are identified by the Secretary of the Interior pursuant to the Endangered Species Act of 1973.

Total dissolved solids (TDS) - The mass of dissolved ionic compounds in water per volume of water; usually expressed in milligrams/liter or, equivalently, parts per million.

Tributary - A stream that flows into a larger stream, river or other water body.

Tunnel boring machine (TBM) - A large drill, often 8-10 feet in diameter, capable of drilling through mountainous terrain for long distances to create a tunnel.

- W -
Wasatch Front - The western side of the Wasatch Mountains in Utah where most of the state’s population resides.

Water rights - A property right, protected by state law, to take water and put it to beneficial use.

Water table - The upper surface of groundwater or the level below which the soil is saturated with water.

Water year - Typically October 1 thru September 30 of each year. The period of time over which water use is measured and a water right is defined.

Wetlands - areas that are inundated by surface or groundwater sufficient to support—and under normal conditions does or would support—vegetation or aquatic life that requires saturated or seasonally saturated soil conditions for growth and reproduction. See "Jurisdictional wetland".