The Utah State Energy Program is launching a renewable energy incentive program focused on residential and small commercial markets.

The Renewable Energy Rebate Program, funded by $3 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, comes online in April and rebates residents for solar photovoltaics, solar thermal systems and wind turbines. Residential properties could get $2 per watt for solar panels, with a maximum rebate of $8,750, while commercial properties could receive up to $50,000.


A new species of dinosaur has emerged from the rocks of southern Utah.

Buried by a collapsing sand dune, perhaps 185 million years ago, the new dino was probably a plant eater and an early relative of the giant animals later known as sauropods, researchers report in Tuesday’s edition of the journal PLoS One.

Named Seitaad ruessi, the species was 10-to-15 feet long and 3-to-4 feet high. Its bones were found protruding from sandstone at the base of a cliff, directly below an ancient Anasazi cliff dwelling.

No humans were around at the time of the dinosaurs, but researchers say the bones could well have been visible when the early Indians lived there.



Salt Lake Tribune
Deseret News

Salt Lake Tribune

Since 1939, the Cedar Valley spreading west and north of Cedar City has dropped 100 feet and the only way to stop or slow the process is replenish the underlying aquifer with at least as much water as is being discharged through pumping.

That was one of the statistics the Utah Geological Survey delivered to the Central Iron County Water Conservancy District at its board meeting Thursday night in Cedar City.

William Lund, senior scientist with the agency’s southern Utah office, said the practice of overpumping causes noticeable fissures in the ground that sink all the way to the water table and allow pollutants to seep into the water. Most of the water is now used for agriculture, but officials are concerned about polluting the water source should it be needed for other uses.

“They start as a hairline crack and fast erode into gullies,” said Lund of the fissures.

He noted a fissure first noticed in 1960 northeast of Enoch has grown 2.25 miles long and has snaked its way into a subdivision where home construction was set to begin.

Although only one structure was built and affected by the fissure, it has disrupted the infrastructure that had already been completed, including cracking curbs and gutters, streets and the sewer system, which now runs backward.

Lund said it is the only location in Utah he is aware of that has been damaged by a fissure.
Lund’s updateis part of an $85,700 study the Geological Survey is conducting in conjunction with the conservancy district. The agency is nearing completion of its final report after nearly two years of study.



Cedar Valley has not dropped 100 feet! (it has subsided 4 feet at the most). Erroneous information was reported by most of the media.  Please note the Utah Geological Survey’s following corrections to

  • The water table beneath Cedar Valley has lowered as much as 100 feet in some areas because ground-water pumping has exceeded the natural aquifer recharge since 1939.
  • Due to the lowered water table, Cedar Valley’s ground surface has subsided 4 feet at the most in some areas since 1950.
  • One of the effects of land subsidence is the development of earth fissures (cracks in the ground surface).  Several fissures have formed in the western and northeastern parts of Cedar Valley.  One fissure has damaged the partially developed Parkview subdivision in Enoch.


The Spectrum

Salt Lake Tribune

A court ruling, and the inaction of Nevada lawmakers, means any agreement on Snake Valley water won’t happen until at least 2011, according to Mike Styler, executive director of the Utah Department of Natural Resources.

During a session of the Utah Water Users Workshop, Styler said the Nevada Legislature did not take significant action last month on a Nevada Supreme Court decision that called into question the rights concerning the water resource beneath areas of western Utah and eastern Nevada.
In a shared water agreement with Utah, the Southern Nevada Water Authority has proposed pumping water from the aquifer 300 miles south to satisfy the growing needs of Las Vegas.
Utah water users are concerned the proposal could have a negative impact on their water rights and air quality from dust that could result as areas become more parched.

Styler took his audience through a history of the proposed agreement that began in 1989. The Nevada court decision was significant because a lower court must now decide if Nevada state engineer Tracy Taylor “violated his statutory duty” when he failed to make a decision by 1991 on 34 applications by the Southern Nevada Water Authority for rights to water in aquifers under three Nevada valleys.


Reports from the Utah Geological Survey top the agenda for Thursday’s Central Iron County Water Conservancy District meeting. Geologist Bill Lund is presenting information about water subsidence in and fissures found in Enoch, which is part of the study.

Lund said the study is almost complete and so far concludes that the water table in the area of Enoch near Midvalley Road is permanently lowered because of overdrawing water from the aquifer resulting in the fissures.

“Basically, we are going to summarize what we’ve found to date,” he said. “We’ve found more fissures and land subsidence.”


Deseret News

The 2010 Utah Renewable Energy Conference will take place from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, March 27, at the Salt Lake Community College Miller Campus.

Hosted by the Utah Solar Energy Association, the event will feature details about a new Utah State Energy Program rebate for home and business owners; local clean energy companies; and experts in solar, wind and energy-efficiency technologies.

The cost is $5 for individuals and $10 for families or groups of two to five people. Attendees will receive $100 off a solar energy system from installers participating in the conference.



Details and registration

Interest in the program has been growing since it was announced.

Best Buy sales supervisor Thomas Guzman says, “Customers are coming in wanting to know what qualifies, what does not qualify and what the dollar amount is on the actual rebate itself.”

Guzman says Best Buy has an idea of which products will qualify for the state rebate, but it’s waiting on an official list from the state.


Utah Energy Efficient Appliance Rebate Program
Rebates for ENERGY STAR appliances
Energy Savers website

The rock, estimated to be about 21 x 17 x 17 feet and weighing about 450 tons, slid and fell from the upper slope of Rockville Bench, began to roll downslope, collided with a large stationary boulder at the base of the slope, and shattered into numerous smaller fragments that damaged several outbuildings, two cars, and a house. Although people were home at the time, no one was injured.

The rock fall occurred shortly after a protracted storm event on February 5-9, 2010 that produced 1.38 inches of rain at the Zion Canyon RAWS station, 4.5 miles northeast of Rockville.


Related Links

Technical Report (pdf)
Landslides: Events & Information
Rock-Fall Hazards (pdf)

Synapse Energy Economics, Inc. (Synapse) was contracted by several Utah State agencies, including the Utah State Energy Program, the Division of Public Utilities, the Division of Air Quality, the Committee of Consumer Services, and the Governor’s Energy Advisor, to develop and apply methods of calculating water and health co-benefits of displacing electricity generation technologies in Utah with new energy efficiency or renewable energy.


View entire report

repost from Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

Sandy—Kids can catch fish, learn about predators and find out how to ride an ATV safely at this year’s DNR Youth Outdoor Sports Fair.

The sports fair is part of the upcoming International Sportsmen’s Exposition.

The expo will be held March 18 to March 21,2010 at the South Towne Exposition Center, 9575 S. State in Sandy. The cost to attend the exposition, which includes the youth fair, is $12 for adults. Kids 15 years of age or younger can attend for free.

The Youth Outdoor Sports Fair will be held at the south end of the exposition center. Six divisions will host activities: Forestry, Fire and State Lands; Oil, Gas and Mining; Parks and Recreation; the Utah Geological Survey; Water Resources; and Wildlife Resources.

More than 20 activities await children who attend the fair. Among the things kids can do:

  • Catch trout in a fishing pond.
  • Make a survival kit.
  • Tie fishing flies.
  • See how big they are compared to a deer, an elk or a moose!
  • Learn how to stay safe in black bear country.
  • Learn about dinosaurs.
  • Learn about Utah’s rocks.
  • Learn how to boat safely.
  • Learn how to conserve water.
  • Learn about a future career with the DNR.

“We want to get children excited about the outdoors,” says Mike Styler, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources. “We also want to teach them skills that will make their next trip into the outdoors safe and enjoyable.”

More information about the International Sportsmen’s Exposition is available at