Project Description

The Virgin River Coalition, through a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, is embarking on a groundbreaking initiative aimed at addressing long standing ecological challenges in the Lower Virgin River Basin. At the heart of this endeavor lies the “Feasibility Study to Evaluate Reconfiguration of the Bunkerville Headgate,” a project poised to potentially revolutionize the management of water resources in the area. With grant funding secured from the USFWS, the VRC has enlisted the expertise of a contracting company to undertake this ambitious project.

One of the primary issues plaguing the irrigation system is the accumulation of sediment, which not only diminishes the efficiency of water delivery but also poses a significant threat to aquatic ecosystems. Additionally, the current infrastructure is prone to entrainment, wherein both native and non-native fish species are inadvertently drawn into the irrigation ditches during periods of water diversion for agricultural purposes. Such disruptions not only jeopardize the delicate balance of the river’s ecological health but also impede the sustainability of local farming practices.

bunkerville headgates


U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Project Date

Started: 2024

How the Project Works

bunkerville headgate 1
bunkerville headgate 3

Through this study, the VRC and USFWS aim to explore innovative solutions to these multifaceted challenges. By reimagining the design and functionality of the Bunkerville Headgate, which serves as a pivotal point of water diversion from the Virgin River to the irrigation system, the project seeks to mitigate sediment accumulation, minimize fish entrainment, and optimize water allocation for both agricultural and ecological purposes. Through comprehensive hydraulic modeling, ecological assessments, and stakeholder engagement, the study endeavors to chart a path toward a more resilient and harmonious coexistence between human activities and the natural environment in the Virgin River Basin.