Grand County Commissioners touched on several water-related items at their April 5 meeting. Commissioner Sarah Stock reported that the county was awarded a grant from the National Ground-water Monitoring Network, a nationwide cooperative groundwater data collection, management and reporting system affiliated with the U.S. Geological Survey. The data will help determine regional and national trends in groundwater levels and quality and help managers make decisions.

“It’s a cooperative, collaborative effort, so it also involves other entities in the valley,” Stock said. “We will get some funding to start cataloging wells for inclusion in this national groundwater monitoring network, and then in future years, we can apply for more funding to perhaps install new wells or do upkeep. So it’s great news.”

Commissioner Trisha Hedin said she talked with Marc Stilson, regional engineer for the Utah Division of Water Rights, about a flood gage that was temporarily installed on Pack Creek last summer. The USGS gage monitored flow in the creek in the months following the Pack Creek Fire, when the drainage was particularly prone to extreme flooding, but there was only enough funding to maintain it there for a few months. The county and the Utah Division of Water Rights have discussed funding a permanent installation. The gage would not only provide early flood warnings, but could provide information on how much water from Pack Creek is recharging the Valley Fill aquifer, an important piece of understanding the local natural water system.

Commission Administrator Mallory Nassau noted that Stilson will be giving a presentation at the April 19 Grand County Commission meeting aimed at helping the public get informed on water issues and the local aquifer. The commission hopes to make such workshops quarterly, and intends to include a Q&A session open to the public.