About 200 Kane County dignitaries and Kanab-area residents turned out Friday for a ceremonial groundbreaking to kick off construction of a $12 million, 45 foot-high, 4,430 foot-long earthen dam. Once complete, the dam will create the Jackson Flat Reservoir. Water for the reservoir will be diverted from Kanab Creek.
"This is a historic day in Kanab," said Mike Noel, manager of the Kane County Water Conservancy District and a Republican state representative, who was joined at the event by Sen. Bob Bennett, R-Utah, and Utah Gov. Gary Herbert.
The project is being jointly funded by the Kane County Water Conservancy District, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Utah State Division of Water Resources.
Construction of the dam is expected to be complete in 2011. Officials say filling the reservoir with roughly 4,228 acre feet of water will take about two years.
The conservancy district has been working for nearly a decade on the project, which is being built so farmers, ranchers and some residents will have adequate irrigation water year-round.
Other entities -- the city or the county -- should also be able to lease some water for parks, the cemetery, school grounds and golf course. Using the irrigation water will boost the amounts of available culinary water now being used for watering.
Herbert said the reservoir's water will allow for growth in the area and that responsible development of water resources is important in arid Utah. "If we do it right, then the desert will bloom," he said.
The reservoir's name honors the Jackson family, who sold 400 acres of land to the water district for $900,000.
Source: The Salt Lake Tribune