New reservoir to help southern Utah water supply moves closer to reality

Feb 29, 2024, 6:13 PM | Updated: 6:26 pm

TOQUERVILLE, Washington County — A new source of water is one step closer to becoming a reality for residents in southern Utah’s Washington County.

On Thursday, crews finished digging a 1,200 foot long trench that will sit under the dam of the new $94 million Chief Toquer Reservoir, located off Interstate 15 near the Toquerville interchange. The trench and the foundation, which is part of phase one of building the new reservoir, is expected to be completed by mid-April.

“This trench that you’re seeing is working on creating a stable foundation for the reservoir and the dam, and it also create a cut-off trench to manage and control ground water flow underneath the trench,” said Corey Cram, associate general manager for the Washington County Conservancy District.

A map showing where the new reservoir will be and will connect to the Ash Creek Reservoir.

A map showing where the new reservoir will be and will connect to the Ash Creek Reservoir. (KSL TV)

The new 115-acre reservoir, which is projected to hold as much as 3,725 acre-feet of water, is part of the larger Ash Creek Project, that includes an 18.8 mile pipeline that will connect to the Ash Creek Reservoir near New Harmony. Once completed, the reservoir will also take in surface water from Pine Valley.

“This reservoir will ultimately receive also reused water, and this will make a source of secondary water and through exchange, create drinking water for our residents on the east side of the county,” Cram said.

Construction on the embankments for the 125-foot tall, 1,270-foot wide reservoir is expected to take 18 months. Once the reservoir is finished, Cram says it’s expected to bring a much-needed water supply to the growing population in Toquerville, LaVerkin, and Hurricane, and relieve the water pressure on cities like Washington City, St. George, Santa Clara, and Ivins.

“This reservoir is huge, it’s part of expanding our water supply to meet our future needs,” Cram said. “We are working hard to have a diverse, reliable, and redundant water supply.”

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New reservoir to help southern Utah water supply moves closer to reality