Solving the county's water problems first and water politics later is the best way to resolve a dispute between Sandy and the Salt Lake County Water Conservancy District, according to attorney Ed Clyde.

Clyde has been asked to mediate a conflict between Sandy and the water district that has already been argued in district court - in the conservancy district's favor.Sandy wants out of the district so it can join the Metropolitan Water District of Salt Lake. But the conservancy district has refused to let Sandy go, saying the move would erode its financial base.

Clyde said the political issue could be eased if countywide water distribution problems are ironed out first. The county's water supplies would be put to the best use if they were under the control of only one agency, but that isn't likely, Clyde said.

But inefficiencies in management of water supplies and facilities could be reduced if the various water agencies engaged in contracts that allowed them to treat and transport all available supplies as a countywide district would.

On Monday, Clyde told the conservancy district board Monday, which includes Sandy Mayor Steve Newton, that they should "study the daylights out of putting the existing facilities to optimum use."

Once that is done, Sandy could stay in the district or go without major consequence, he said.