About Utah: Conserve when it's raining, our water parents warn

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  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 23, 2017 9:26 a.m.

    To "Baron Scarpia" um....you don't seem to know much about how a power plant operates.

    In a power plant, the water is in a CLOSED LOOP system. That means that once it is filled, you never have have to fill it with water again, except for any leaks that develop. Even if water is used for cooling, it is not lost. Typically the water enters and leaves the system as a liquid, the only difference is the temperature. Combining a nuclear power plant and a hydroelectric dam would actually be beneficial because the extremely cold water coming out of the dam can be warmed up before being returned to the river system.

    There are air cooled power plants that use very little water.

    Solar, actually uses quite a bit of water. How do you think they clean the panels or mirrors?

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    May 23, 2017 8:15 a.m.

    The next step is to build an infrastructure that eases our water use. Because Utah generates 80 percent of its electricity from coal, people don't realize that coal-fired power requires significant quantities of water (boiling of water to generate steam to turn turbines, flushing of boilers, etc.) to generate that power. Every time you flip a switch, you're guzzling water.

    Nuclear is also a big water guzzler.

    Wind and solar use virtually no water. Other states are rapidly moving to non-water-based electricity generation (e.g., Iowa, another agricultural state generates over a third of its electricity from wind power; Texas gets well over 10 percent). Utah should follow suit.

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    May 22, 2017 3:47 p.m.

    Why can't I have a gray water or collect rain water. GMO foods take more water than natural. Fluoride is a poison, why is that added to water. Intelligent and educated are different.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 22, 2017 2:59 p.m.

    To "jsf" but last year there were several articles showing that farmers can use existing equipment, and with minimal modifications, achieve a 20% savings in their water use.

    If the costs are minimal and can reduce water use by that much, shouldn't that be pursued rather than telling residential customers to cut their use by 25%, which has virtually no effect on the overall water use in the state?

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 22, 2017 1:12 p.m.

    @RedShirtHarvard - farmers get it. They try to conserve but compete price wise also.

  • jsf Centerville, UT
    May 22, 2017 1:07 p.m.

    Remember the farmers are selling the production to you the consumer. Raise their price of production and you will pay more for groceries. People tend to forget their groceries don't just come from nowhere when the go to the store. Like environmentalists that think the electric power they charge their cars just came to be in the power cord they plug in to.

  • RedShirtHarvard Cambridge, MA
    May 22, 2017 12:19 p.m.

    That is a great message, but lets look at who uses water in Utah.

    According to a 2015 article by the DN and KSL, 82% of the water in the state goes to farms, 8 percent goes to commercial and industrial use, and only 4% goes to indoor residential use, and 6% goes to outdoor residential use.

    So, that means if EVERY HOME in Utah cut their outdoor water use by 50%, that only makes a 2% change in state water supplies. Now, if farms cuts their use by 3%, Utah would save more in water than we would by cutting residential use by 50%.

    Can somebody explain to me why residents are being pushed into conserving water when we use so little? Why isn't this message directed at the farmers?

  • andyjaggy American Fork, UT
    May 22, 2017 9:44 a.m.

    I'm not going to intentionally waste water by watering my lawn at the same time it's raining. Or leaving my hose running needlessly for half the day. I do however refuse to feel guilty for keeping my lawn somewhat green, for taking my nice 20 minutes showers, for flushing my urine down the toilet every time I go, and for filling my kids little toy pool up in the backyard every weekend. Until we see meaningful changes by those who actually use 90% of the water in our state I will just keep doing what I am doing until the tap runs dry.

  • MBB Salt Lake City, UT
    May 22, 2017 9:21 a.m.

    I am all for water conservation. For this reason, I feel not enough is being done to get businesses to do the same. How many times have you seen their sprinklers watering the sidewalk or watering during the middle of the day? I see so many patches of lawn that serve no purpose but to waste water. Let's encourage businesses to implement more water-friendly landscaping.

  • goodnight-goodluck S.L.C., UT
    May 22, 2017 8:59 a.m.

    Yes Conserve, and in the fall after everyone has conserved the water managers will come hat in hand crying for a rate increase because the people conserved.

  • PH Riverton, Utah
    May 22, 2017 8:45 a.m.

    As I read this article and the interview with these two I couldn't help remember the first days of President Obama as our POTUS. Petroleum prices were skyrocketing and the words out of his mouth were for us to stop "rabbit start" from stoplights and to make sure our tires are inflated properly. I thought at the time, "this is our energy policy, what a joke". Now I'm all for conservation. 100% in, but that's 1 part of the equation. As mentioned in earlier comments, why are we not looking at our storage capacity. I know that if I expect to survive economic downturns I need to have saved some $$. But all these two tell us is to take shorter showers, don't water your lawn and fix your leaky pipes. These all sound good and again I'm all for conservation, but if this is all our state has for direction we need new directors.

  • John Charity Spring Back Home in Davis County, UT
    May 22, 2017 7:32 a.m.

    No reasonable person can deny that this Country is under direct attack by a cadre of left-wing environmental extremists who seek to turn this Country into just another European-style state. Apparently, this attack now includes an effort to prevent citizens from using water.

    The Founding Fathers intended for the citizens to use the natural resources for their benefit. This includes water. To say otherwise is preposterous.

    If the water on the Wasatch Front is not used, it flows uselessly into a big mud pan. It fuels mosquitos and flies. That is not reflective of community values.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    May 21, 2017 10:12 p.m.

    "The problem is it’s just so easy to get complacent when the reservoirs are filling, the runoff is raging, and you’re piling up sandbags on the riverbanks. … and history has shown over and over again that the good water years tend to be followed by several drier years."

    So why don't we take advantage of the good years? We should double our storage capacity. Allowing it all to run off and then evaporate in Utah Lake and the Great Salt Lake is foolish. We need to dredge Utah Lake, build some more large capacity reservoirs for long term storage and build hundreds of smaller mountain reservoirs to capture spring runoff and release it gradually over the summer.

    A state that routinely has to take serious food control measures does not have a water shortage; it has an uneven water supply. We need to capture the overabundance and release it during the lean times.

  • 1Reader Sunnyvale, CA
    May 21, 2017 9:34 p.m.

    Should we conserve while the reservoirs overflow? Like the other comments, I think it's clear that we could possibly utilize 20 times as much. Let's focus on increasing supply.
    It's kind of absurd that the public should have weak showers so that farmers can have cheap, wasteful water--and inefficient canals throughout.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    May 21, 2017 5:01 p.m.

    Utah's water cartel has been very effective in water shaming the public over a dripping facet while cities and irrigation canals have a combined 25% leak rate.

    Utah leaks 500 billion gallons of water before it gets to the user. That enough water for 4 million new people.

    Why are we building billion dollar Bear River or Lake Powell Pipeline pork barrel projects for systems with 25% leak rates?

    Utah's land mass is 54 million acres receiving 60 million acre-feet of water annually. All of Utah's 246 cities use 1 million acre-feet and all farmers 5 million acre-feet.

    In other words, all of Utah's water uses combined represent 10% of Utah's annual precipitation.

    On consumptive basis, Utah consumes just 5% of its annual precipitation.

    What we have is a wasteful, duplicative and extravagant water paperwork industry where the State spend $90,000 a day for water paperwork instead of wet water projects.

    Someday Republican lawmakers will realize Margret Dayton and the Water Cartel have federalized Utah's water on the backs of Utah's farmers and private property owners.

    We have no water shortage, but a water management shortage.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    May 21, 2017 2:42 p.m.

    I and every other resident could scrimp and save and never enjoy any water-related luxury and it wouldn't make a dent in water levels so long as industrial and government users waste like there is no tomorrow.

    Rather than harping on me to put in hot rocks rather than cool, comfortable grass, install secondary water in more locations so we don't have to use potable water for outside irrigation. Convince city and school land managers to turn off their sprinklers when not needed, amd to quickly fix broken heads.

    And maybe, just maybe, lets increase impact fees on new construction to pay for needed new water infrastructure (and sewer, power, and other infrastructure).

    I'm tired of being taxed out of my native home so developers can get rich while I and my long time neighbors pay ever higher rates for power, sewer, police, schools, and open space so that high density condo dwellers can have parks. I paid for my yard, others should do likewise either individually or via private HOAs rather than taxing me.