Underground water in Sanpete and central Sevier valleys, Utah

Water Supply Paper 199




Sanpete and central Sevier valleys are situated at the border of the Basin Range and Plateau provinces in south-central Utah. They are bounded on the east by the Wasatch and Sevier plateaus and on the west by the Gunnison Plateau and the Valley and Pavant ranges, and are drained by Sevier River, which empties into Sevier Lake in the Great Basin. (See fig. 1, p. 6.)

These valleys rank with the richest parts of the State. They were occupied a few years after the Mormon pioneers founded Salt Lake City, in 1847, when settlements, which soon became thriving farming communities, were established where water for irrigation was most available. A variety of crops, especially wheat, are successfully grown, and the valleys are popularly known as the "granary of Utah." Sheep raising is also an important industry, the adjacent highlands being used for summer pastures. The climate is arid, and there is a striking contrast between those areas which in their natural state are covered with sagebrush and grease wood and the fruitful cultivated tracts. (See PI. I, A and B.) Trees are normally absent in the valleys, but they flourish to a limited extent on the adjacent highlands, where there are thin growths of quaking aspen, scrub oak, and stunted conifers. Irrigation is necessary for the production of crops. Canal systems are maintained by San Pitch Creek and Sevier River, and the mountain streams are tapped by ditches near the mouths of the canyons, but this supply is insufficient and attention is being turned to the subterranean store.

This report is a preliminary statement of the general conditions of occurrence of underground water in Sanpete and central Sevier valleys. The field work was carried on in cooperation with Sanpete and Sevier counties through the State engineer, Mr. Caleb Tanner, who detailed Mr. C. S. Jarvis to collect the data embodied in the list of springs and wells on pages 51-60.

Study Area

Additional publication details

Publication type:
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Underground water in Sanpete and central Sevier valleys, Utah
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
Year Published:
U.S. Government Printing Office
Publisher location:
Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s):
Utah Water Science Center
63 p.
United States
Other Geospatial:
Central Sevier Valley, Sanpete Valley