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About Us

Primary goals of Salt Lake County’s Watershed Planning and Restoration Program:

  • Integrated watershed planning
  • Data collection and analysis
  • Stream restoration and protection
  • Outreach and public involvement

Our scientific assessments and 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.

walden park before restoration
Jordan River riverbank BEFORE restoration (Location: Walden Park in Murray, UT)

walden park after restoration
Walden Park riverbank AFTER restoration. Rubble and garbage cleaned up; steep slope graded into terraces and planted with native trees, shrubs and wildflowers.

Program History

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, 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. The Water Quality and Water Pollution Department 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. This situation continued until 1997 when the Public Works Department of Salt Lake County again took on the charge of area-wide water quality planning.