Watershed Planning and Restoration Program
About the Watershed Program
What We Do
The Salt Lake County Watershed Planning and Restoration Program was created in 1997 and has engaged in numerous restoration, assessment, and planning activities since its inception. The primary goals of the program include assessment and restoration of streams and other water resources in the Jordan River sub-basin, stewardship planning, and environmental education outreach.
The scientific assessments and subsequent bioengineered restoration projects are carried out on a cooperative partnership basis with local municipalities, service districts and state/federal agencies. Notably, the program typically leverages local financial contributions with federal and state grants targeted at specific stream or lake restoration measures to accomplish its goals.
Talking watersheds with 4th graders at the annual Hogle Zoo Water Quality Fair
Several programs and departments within Salt Lake County Government have spent countless hours promoting water quality and planning since the late 1970’s. Between 1975 and 1978, the Salt Lake County Planning Commission acted as the Area-Wide Water Quality managing entity.
On February 6, 1978, with the completion of the Area-Wide Water Quality Management Plan (208 Plan), Salt Lake County Government was designated the regional water quality planning authority by then Governor Scott M. Matheson. The primary goals outlined in the 1978 Plan were to provide a “continuous planning process directed toward achieving the policy of restoring and maintaining the chemical, physical and biological integrity of the waters of Salt Lake County.”
At this time, the Council of Governments (COG), in conjunction with the Salt Lake County Planning Commission, hired staff to conduct water quality planning and subsequently created the Water Quality and Water Pollution Department, which functioned as the primary water quality planning authority until 1985.
In 1985, the Salt Lake County Health Department took over this responsibility. Liability was again shifted in 1992 when water quality planning was placed directly under the Salt Lake County Commission.
Finally, in 1997, Salt Lake County Public Works Department took on the charge of area-wide water quality planning. The present day Watershed Planning & Restoration Program is housed in the Flood Control Engineering Division.