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Wolf Creek water moratorium eased, paving way for limited development

By Tim Vandenack - | Nov 18, 2022

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This map shows the Wolf Creek Water and Sewer Improvement District, the area in the Ogden Valley inside the red lines.

A moratorium on new water connections brought on by dwindling water supplies that had stymied growth in the Wolf Creek area of the Ogden Valley has been eased.

It’s not because water reserves in the area have suddenly spiked, though. Rather, officials from the Wolf Creek Water and Sewer Improvement District, or WCWSID, the public entity that supplies water in the area, say the decision stems from the drilling of a new well that will provide extra water.

“We were just really fortunate. It’s really a blessing we’ve got a well that’s as good as it is,” said Miranda Menzies, chairperson of the WCWSID board of trustees.

The board on Thursday formally lifted the moratorium, put in place on July 27, 2021, but it won’t pave the way for unfettered growth. The Wolf Creek area, roughly speaking, sits between Eden to the south and the Powder Mountain ski resort further north.

“It’s a limited solution to a specific problem,” Menzies said.

That is, owners of around 380 plots in the Wolf Creek area that have recorded building lots will be able to get permission to tap into the Wolf Creek water system, allowing them to get building permits from Weber County and proceed with housing development. There’s space for perhaps 1,000 additional lots in the Wolf Creek area beyond that 380, but they are not yet recorded and owners of that land won’t be able to get permits to tap into the Wolf Creek water system.

The new water supply, Menzies said, isn’t expansive enough to supply anything beyond the 380 lots. She expects that owners of just 60 to 70 of the 380 lots will immediately take action to tap into the water system.

The moratorium implemented in 2021 underscored the dwindling supply of water in the area brought on by the drought and the falling water level at Pineview Reservoir. However, that the new well will permit at least a measure of development in the Wolf Creek area doesn’t mean water worries fade away.

Menzies said owners of nonrecorded lots in the Wolf Creek area will have to seek out water from other suppliers. “The developers are going to have to figure out a different approach,” she said, bringing water in from other parts of the Ogden Valley, perhaps.

Whatever the case, Wolf Creek residents have heeded calls to conserve water.

“Our Wolf Creek customers are absolutely wonderful. The customers who are already connected achieved a 40% reduction in irrigation use this year (compared to 2020),” Menzies said. She also lauded efforts of the operators of the golf course in Wolf Creek to conserve water, aided by rain in August and September.

Developers making new water connections in Wolf Creek will have to abide by restrictions on use of secondary water for irrigation. Likewise, new homes will have to use low-flow water fixtures and they can’t use drinking water for outdoor irrigation, among other water-conservation measures.

The new well will provide just culinary water. Wolf Creek officials plan to develop a system to use treated wastewater generated within the system for secondary irrigation. It’ll take one to two years to build the first homes permitted thanks to Thursday’s action, so Menzies thinks there’s time to develop the secondary system.

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