Herbert convenes summit to map 50-year water strategy for Utah
"The people of this state are very sincere, very concerned and very passionate about the preservation of water as our most precious natural resource," wrote Voneene Jorgensen, general manager of the Bear River Water Conservancy District.
In her paper, Jorgensen noted the following public comments:
Development of storage reservoirs and implementation of water banks may be viable solutions to the impacts of climate change and are worthy of discussion.
The state needs to stop encouraging more industry, businesses and people to come to the state that will strain or deplete the water supply.
Population growth is a problem. Slow the growth.
Warren Peterson, a Delta attorney specializing in land, water and agricultural law, noted there were two striking conclusions drawn from the meetings and hundreds of comments: "Utah's people recognize there is an inseparable connection between food production and water; and Utah's people would benefit from a greater understanding of this connection."
Peterson noted that people from diverse interests asked that Utah "protect water that will be needed for agriculture, while others commented that transfers from agriculture would supply future urban water demands."
"Maintaining or increasing Utah's agricultural production requires that we minimize or reverse the movement of water away from agriculture. A decrease in food production at a time of rapid population growth seems imprudent," Peterson wrote.
He also noted that research budgets, especially at universities, seem to be shrinking as the need for greater water knowledge is increasing.
"Utah public and their policymakers need at least basic water resource knowledge before creating water policy, especially as related to agriculture," Peterson wrote. "Water education should be a prerequisite for city planners, council members, county leaders and legislators called on to make such policy decisions."
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