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…

Flake, Hatch, McCain and Lee Introduce Bill Prohibiting Presidential Water Grab [UPH Wire]

*FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE* *CONTACT: *Flake Press Office (202) 228-2046 Thursday, May 21, 2015 press@flake.senate.gov | @FlakePress Matt Whitlock (Hatch) (202) 224-4511 Julie Tarallo (McCain) (202) 224-7130 Emily Long (Lee) (202) 224-3904 Flake, Hatch, McCain and Lee Introduce Bill Prohibiting Presidential Water Grab Washington, D.C. – U.S. Sens. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.), Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) today introduced S. 1416, a bill to prevent the president from changing the federal water-rights designation of lands declared to be national monuments. When the president federalizes land by declaring…

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…

Midday Commentary on Last Night’s News – May 5, 2015

It’s going to get worse before it gets better for the LDS Church as it finds a way into the mainstream of culture and society. Peggy Fletcher-Stack, take it away! • A youth Sunday School teacher was released from their calling for teaching from current church doctrine. It involves race, so obviously local leaders got all squirmy. Note to said leaders: Kids have the internet. If you’re not teaching them, they’re going to do it without you. And do you really want that? • UVU President Matt Holland signed a…

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…