• Michelle

Provo is recognized nationally for our forward-looking waterwise efforts

This morning, FEMA and the State of Utah recognized three projects in the state that have been selected for federal funding under the Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) competitive grant program. For the fiscal 2021 year, $1 billion was made available, with the three Utah projects receiving more than $100 million, or 10 percent of total funding nationwide.


The Provo City Water Supply Long Term Sustainability project received the maximum funding of $50 million for an aquifer storage recharge system, a project that will help maintain an adequate level of clean drinking water for the community.


Thank you, Nancy Dragani, FEMA Region 8 director, and to your staff for awarding Provo City a Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities grant. With this comes the opportunity to build a state-of-the-art water treatment plant to meet the water needs of Provo for generations to come!


And in a true spirit of partnership, this grant will be augmented with funds from the State, Utah County and Provo City.


This is an exciting day for Provo citizens! Why is the announcement of this grant—and a resulting new water treatment plant so important to our community’s future? It’s Forward-Looking!


First, the treatment plant will play an essential role in drought resilience by providing water to recharge the underground aquifer—the source for much of the drinking water for Utah County.


The aquifer has been in decline for 70 years. River View Park illustrates water management in action. This stream drops water into the aquifer more than 200 feet below ground. Monitoring wells in this area track the volumes of water and the locations where the recharge in the aquifer is occurring.


Second, the treatment plant will function as a secondary treatment source—and as a redundant water supply to Utah County and the surrounding region in the event of an emergency.


Lastly, the treatment plant allows Provo to implement an aquifer management program, ensuring a long-term, sustainable water supply for Provo City and the surrounding region.

Aquifer management and ground water storage are part of Provo’s comprehensive water management, which involves drinking water, storm water and wastewater.



Provo City is being waterwise—in the short term, by encouraging citizen water conservation; and in the long term, by emphasizing ground water storage, recycling, re-use, and other sustainable methods that reduce demand for new water, limit evaporation loses, protect water quality, and align with natural recharge.


Provo’s forward-looking approach to water management is being noticed nationally, as evidenced by the financial support Provo is receiving today from FEMA. We are honored to receive the maximum grant funding—and consider it to be FEMA’s confidence in our water management efforts, meeting not only our community’s future needs, but those of the surrounding region.


Water management is the responsibility of all. Today represents a day when so many have done their part to better secure our water future.



The selected projects include:


$50 million to the City of Provo for a water supply project to address the threat of drought. The project will use excess water from the Provo River to recharge the Provo Aquifer. The award represents a 61 percent federal cost share, with $50 million being the maximum amount available under the program.


$36.7 million to Salt Lake City for enhancements to a water treatment plant. The project includes several flood mitigation measures to facility components and a seismic retrofit for one building. The award represents a 70 percent federal cost share.


$21.6 million to the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District for a parallel water pipeline for the Davis Aqueduct. The parallel line will use earthquake resistant steel pipe and be routed though less seismically sensitive areas, allowing continued service should the existing pipeline be damaged or blocked after a quake. The award represents a 40 percent federal cost share.


In addition to the competitive grant funding, each state receives $1 million in allocated funds, which Utah used to fund 10 additional projects, consisting of scoping studies for larger projects and updates to local mitigation plans.


BRIC Program


FEMA’s Building Resilient Infrastructure and Communities (BRIC) program focuses on research-supported and proactive investment into making communities better able to anticipate and recover from disasters and a future shaped by climate change.


Additional information about the BRIC program can be found at www.fema.gov/bric.

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