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Utah Lake master plan discussed

25,000 water-rights holders are part of consideration

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PROVO — Water rights, land use, city ordinances, water quality — there's a lot to be considered when developing a master plan to last decades for a lake.

The Utah Lake Commission met Thursday and discussed the master plan for the lake.

The consulting firm, URS, presented information to the commission to be prepared for an upcoming workshop.

Utah Lake has the oldest water rights in the state, which date back to 1850, said Jerry Olds, the state engineer. He said there are about 25,000 different water-rights holders for Utah Lake, which changes the fluctuation of the water.

Rick Cox, director of the master-planning process for URS, and Reed Price, executive director of the Utah Lake Commission, also discussed possible transportation corridors, land use, model ordinances that would affect the lake, dredging, water quality and sovereign lands, all of which affect the direction of the master plan.

"There's a lot of issues associated with the lake, such as removal of the carp," aquatic vegetation and fluctuations, Cox said.

In April, the commission had a "visioning" meeting with state, Utah County and city officials to discuss what they would like to see at Utah Lake. A public workshop also was held to determine the input of county residents. Comments from both workshops ranged from more trails and marinas to more recreation and transportation options.

The commission approved a resolution in December to support any studies concerning transportation projects that might affect the lake, including environmental impacts.

Commission governing-board members will meet again in July to discuss the master plan.

E-mail: csmith@desnews.com