@ redshirtI would have to disagree with your statement that homes
(i.e people) use more water than farming. Pulling out an Old College textbook.
The Consumptive use of an Acre of Alfalfa is quoted at 2.8 Ft/Year (At Bonners
Ferry, Idaho). On an Acre, the water used growing that crop would be 1 acre x
2.8 ft/yr x 325,000 Gallons/Acre-ft = 910,000 Gallons/yr. The old text book
quotes domestic comsumption at 40-80 gpcd. or 14,600 to 29,200 gallons per year.
So not planting that acre of Alfalfa would on average support between 30 to 70
people. I'm sure other readers can refine these illustrative values.
The problem is that homes use more water per acre than farming does. The farming
is pushed elsewhere so the water demand just increases.
If there is surplus water, the place to find it would be the Jordan River. No
need to spend millions to determine where farm land water has gone. If is not in
the river then it simply is not available for diversion to drinking water.
In California, Surplus Ag Water can be sold to other water users, be they other
Ag Agencies or regional Water Agencies through a bidding process. I would
recommend the D-News Staff investigate and report on California's mechanism
in dealing with surplus Ag Water. Your readers and Utah's leaders would be
educated on the Water Options out there. I was surprised to learn some 80-85
percent of California's water resources are consumed by the Ag industry.