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Utah Department of Agriculture and Food Response Plan: Harmful Algal Blooms

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) has developed a Response Plan to inform, educate, and engage with agricultural producers when water-quality issues arise from HABs. Quick response and notification of farmers and ranchers about the possible harmful effects of HABs to their crops and livestock will help them make critical decisions regarding water use during periods of elevated toxin levels. The Response Plan provides UDAF with a systematic process for gathering and presenting data to agricultural producers, irrigation water managers, and canal companies during HABs events. Subject areas include:

  • UDAF HABs team, interagency coordination, and subject-matter expert contact information
  • A list of agricultural water sources and reservoirs used for stock watering that are prone to HABs
  • Guiding principles for a HABs response
  • State and UDAF HABs response flowcharts
  • Processes for outreach
  • Sampling procedures and sampling responsibilities
  • Sample and data analysis through the UDAF lab
  • Animal drinking-water response
  • Irrigation water response
  • Public outreach support from local, county, and state emergency managers

UDAF does not have the statutory authority to regulate or enforce water-quality standards or human-health standards. That authority resides with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and the local health departments (LHDs) respectively.

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