GREAT SALT LAKE

Nature conservancy secures funding to further irrigate Shorelands Preserve

Oct 11, 2023, 6:13 PM | Updated: 6:37 pm

KAYSVILLE — A small crew of contractors are laying about 3,000 feet of corrugated pipe to better bring water to the edges of The Great Salt Lake.

Mike Kolendrianos, Great Salt Lake Shorelands Preserve manager for The Nature Conservancy says the pipeline will help save around 5 to 10% of the water used in irrigating about 10,000 acres on the west side of Davis County.

“We’ll flood-irrigate these pastures,” Kolendrianos said. “And they’ll attract all kinds of white-faced ibis, other types of shore birds that are here during the summertime.”

Up until now, the area has been irrigated using ditches and dirt paths, where much of the water is often lost through evaporation. The area will be used as grazing land for cattle, and to better supply wetlands for migratory birds.

“With the Great Salt Lake here shrinking, we’ve seen them move farther north,” Kolendrianos said. “So this is just an area where we can help provide them some habitat and some nourishment, some food for them to feed on while they’re here.”

Crews are expected to be done laying the pipe later this week. The area will be irrigated through risers similar to fountains that Kolendrianos says will more evenly water the landscape.

“It actually gives you kind of a warm feeling in your heart, for what you’re trying to do,” he said. “Knowing that this property when I’m six feet under is still going to be good, is still going to be protected.”

Kolendrianos said the project cost is just over a quarter of a million dollars. Half of that is being paid by The Nature Conservancy, while the other half comes from a Utah Department of Agriculture water optimization grant. The irrigation system should be up and running in time for next spring.

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Nature conservancy secures funding to further irrigate Shorelands Preserve