Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company and the South Willard Water Company are receiving federal grants for studies from the Bureau of Reclamation.
Cache County is the only other Utah agency to receive a federal grant. Cache is receiving $78,659 for a $157,318 study of its regional water system improvements and strategies to make more efficient use of the available water resources in the county, according to a news release from the U.S. Department of the Interior on Wednesday.
The funding comes through the U.S. Department of the Interior's WaterSMART Program, said Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar.
Salazar established the WaterSMART program in February 2010, with SMART standing for "Sustain and Manage America's Resources for Tomorrow." Since then, more than $77 million has been provided through the program to nonfederal partners, including tribes, water districts and universities.
South Willard Water Company, a private agency, will receive $23,143 to conduct a $46,287 feasibility study on whether it will be economically sound to provide secondary water to its users, said Richard Day, the company's board president.
"We're looking for ways to save our culinary water," Day said.
The company provides water to 350 to 400 homes in the unincorporated area, known as South Willard. Day said users have been asked to reduce culinary water consumption by 25 percent.
Day said the current practice of using culinary water for lawns and gardens is putting a strain on what water is available. Secondary water could ease that strain.
Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company in Sunset will receive $83,327 to conduct a $166,654 study to develop a master plan for the entire canal system, which is 17.2 miles, said Ivan J. Ray, general manager of the canal company, which is a private company.
In 1999, the canal broke, sending mudslides and water into Riverdale homes. Since then, the company has focused on preventing future interruptions to the water supply.
The grant will help with company capital facility planning, Ray said.
As part of its study, the company will "create a hydrologic model for the canal," to study what areas may be problematic, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior news release.
As part of its study, the company will also investigate the potential of installing in Riverdale a 150-kilowatt -capacity hydropower plant, which could be used to operate the canal company's system and possibly provide power to Rocky Mountain Power's grid system.
"It is the ideal spot," Ray said.
The grant will also help fund a study to review several areas in the mouth of Weber Canyon where other low-head power-generating facilities could be installed, Ray said. The "head" is the vertical distance over which the energy is captured.
The grant will also help the company monitor safety and water conservation, Ray said.
"Utah is lucky, very lucky, for these three companies to get these grants."