Who will tell farmers to conserve water?

We’ve known for quite some time that the vast majority of Utah’s water use goes to agriculture. There’s a compelling case to be made for modernizing water distribution systems and farming techniques to greatly reduce this usage. So far, though, nobody seems to want to be the person to start pushing it forward. The only public bill so far on conserving water usage, SB28, only addresses metering and tiered usage for culinary water use, not for farms and ranches. As much as we don’t want to impose new costs on…

Want to save water? Bring agriculture into the 21st century

We just can’t stop talking about water right now, can we? Between Jason’s post on the future of water, John Dougall’s repeated head-bonking of crooked water districts, and the nervous worrying about an exceptionally warm winter with low snow pack, I think we’re getting a pretty good idea that the second driest state in the country could stand to spend a little time thinking about the most important natural resource for sustaining life. The most surprising part in the discussion in finding out just how much water agriculture is responsible…

Planning for the 35 Year Drought

In mid April, water managers from all 29 of Utah’s counties met in Salt Lake City with climate and biology researchers, engineers, agronomists, and sociologists from Utah State University and the University of Utah to talk about water in Utah today and in the future.  They tackled everything from mega-droughts to 45 possible reservoir sites in northern Utah alone. I had the opportunity to interview USU climate center’s Dr. Larry Hipps and Dr. Robert Kjelgren (full audio, here) the day after the event.  Both were a part of recent notable…