Moon Lake Project: Distribution Canals – Duchesne Valley UT


The US Bureau of Reclamation built the Moon Lake Reclamation Project 1935-41, with the assistance of the Civilian Conservation Corps (CCC).  It provides irrigation water for the Moon Lake Water Users Association in the Duchesne Valley of northeastern Utah

Moon Lake reservoir is the principle storage facility for the project. Moon Lake Dam was built by the Bureau of Reclamation. A secondary storage reservoir, now called Lake Boreham, was created by the CCC-built Midview Dam,

The three main distribution canals for the project were built by the CCC: 

•The Duchesner Feeder Canal (1934-35), running north-south for 15 miles from the Duchesne River to the Lake Fork River, just west of Midview Reservoir and with a lateral feeding the reservoir.

•The Midview Lateral Canal (1935-36), running north from Midview Reservoir for 9 miles to the Lake Fork River.

•The Yellowstone Feeder Canal (1938-41), running 22 miles east-west from the east branch of the Lake Fork River to Cottonwood Creek.

These three canals supply water from the Moon Lake reservoir and allow an exchange of water between the Duchesne River and the Lake Fork/Yellowstone River system. Long and sinuous, they traverse the Duchesne Valley, north of the Duchesne River. The CCC canals are all still functioning.

Several other canals have been added to the system over the years, like the Payne Canal and Laterals #1 and #5.

The Bureau of Reclamation explains the complicated water exchange system in detail:

“Duchesne River Exchange involves water diverted from the Duchesne River and used by exchange with other rights as a supplemental supply to irrigate the lands owned by stockholders of the Moon Lake Water Users Association. The water rights of approximately 8000 acres in the Lower Lake Fork River area are the basis for this venture. This exchange supplies the Moon Lake Project with more than 20,000 acre-feet per year. This is accomplished by the Midview Dam and Dike which form an offstream reservoir; Midview Lateral which connects Midview Reservoir with the lower Lake Fork area; and the Duchesne Feeder Canal which carries water to Midview Reservoir and the Lake Fork River. The project provides supplemental irrigation water for 75,256 acres of land in Duchesne and Uintah Counties plus 10,000 acres under the Midview Exchange.”



Source notes

Kenneth Baldridge, The Civilian Conservation Corps in Utah: Remembering Nine Years of Achievement, 1933-1942.  Salt Lake City: University of Utah Press, 2019, pp. 190-194.



Project originally submitted by Joan Greer on September 14, 2020.
Additional contributions by Richard A Walker.

We welcome contributions of additional information on any New Deal project site.


Location Info

Duchesne, UT 84021

Location notes: Pin dropped along Duchesne Feeder Canal

Coordinates: 40.2119, -110.219

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