Water Quality
2020 State of the Environment Report

The Division of Water Quality (DWQ) safeguards Utah’s surface and groundwater through programs designed to protect, maintain, and enhance the quality of Utah’s waters. To ensure that the state’s waters meet the requirements of the Clean Water Act and Utah Water Quality Act, DWQ:

  • Develops water-quality standards.
  • Issues discharge permits, inspects facilities, and enforces compliance of permit requirements.
  • Provides funds for projects that address nonpoint sources of pollution.
  • Develops water-quality standards to protect Utah waters from pollution.
  • Monitors and assesses Utah waters.
  • Develops watershed protection plans to bring impaired waters back into compliance with water-quality standards.
  • Responds to spills.
  • Provides construction assistance through loans and grants.
  • Partners with the Utah Department of Health and local health departments to address water quality and health issues.

As Director of the Utah Division of Water Quality, Erica Gaddis has been a terrific leader and partner on the Utah Lake Water Quality Study since it began a couple years ago. Improving the water quality of Utah Lake is a goal shared by many, but to get it done right, we needed a team of experts to develop and evaluate the complex science behind this water body. Erica excels in this process and demonstrates the needed confidence to bring a wide array of constituent interests through this study with a similar level of confidence in its outcomes.”

–Eric Ellis, Utah Lake Commission

$67,914,206 Invested in Clean Water Projects. Point Source=$66,728,000 and Nonpoint Source=$1,186,206
106,914 Miles of Waterbodies Assessed. 15% in Good Condition.

Success Story: DEQ Helps Utah Rural Farms Protect Water Quality

To protect streams and rivers from agriculture operation runoff by aiding Utah’s farmers and ranchers, this year the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Water Quality (DWQ) partnered with Utah Department of Agriculture and Food (UDAF) to create the Agricultural Voluntary Incentive Program (AgVIP). AgVip helps farming operations develop comprehensive Nutrient Management Plans (NMPs), and provides cash incentives to implement these plans.

Utilizing soil tests, manure tests, and crop management practices, NMPs are crafted specifically for each operation to effectively help producers reduce runoff and protect water quality.

During the application period for the program this summer, 33 applications were received that accounted for 17,430 acres and represented $660,480 in funding requests. Going forward, the program will help facilitate the development and implementation of hundreds of NMPs and improve water quality throughout rural Utah.