Utah’s Aging Water Infrastructure Is Vulnerable to Earthquakes

There are four aqueducts along the Wasatch Front that provide water to some two million people in the Salt Lake Valley – and three of them cross the Wasatch Fault. The fourth is also in an area at risk for landslides and ground movement.

If a major earthquake strikes and damages this critical infrastructure, customers could be without water for months as custom parts are made and shipped and repairs continue, according to Ari Bruening, chief executive officer of Envision Utah.

Other earthquake-prone areas of the West, such as southern California, face similar vulnerabilities.

The Utah Seismic Safety Commission worked with Envision Utah to review the situation and make recommendations. They unanimously agreed that water was at the top of the list of priorities after an earthquake, since water is essential to existence.

An analysis shows it would take approximately $192 million to fix the shortcomings in the aqueducts.


Information in this article was downloaded from Aging aqueducts and earthquakes: Why millions in Utah could end up without water. By Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News.