Audit: Utah better at tracking water use, but more work ahead

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  • LindaGJ Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2017 12:40 p.m.

    "What in Tucket - Provo, UT" wrote about improved methods of using water in farming. He is right. The problem is the cost to install drip and convert from flood irrigation. Ranchers are willing, but cash flow problems prohibit switching in many cases. Should the State subsidize the switching? How much value do we each place on crops and local food? I think it is better to continue ranching and farming as much as possible, and limit growth of population to what we can support with the rest of the available water. If we get a really long drought, we can then quit farming. But if we have the same drought and nothing to change to provide extra water, what can we do with the people?

  • LindaGJ Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 14, 2017 12:31 p.m.

    The writer claiming a tree uses 400 gallons of water a day is way off base. Different varieties use different amounts, and it depends on size too. In humid climate: One large tree can lift up to 100 gallons of water out of the ground and discharge it into the air in a day. One large tree can provide a day's supply of oxygen for up to four people. UNC figures.

    Metering is generally more thrifty than just paying a monthly fee. The meters pay for themselves. Park City has a water meter system which alerts operators to illegal use and leaks--that's efficient! In one town I lived in, metering was required and the machinery was included in house purchase price for new or old house purchases. I paid in that place $30 a month in summer. My neighbor didn't want a meter, she felt better with the set fee. Equal yards, she was paying $45. After we compared bills, she bought a meter!

    We can't be wasting all the water we waste, but we can be comfortable, cool, and surrounded by greenery, as long as we take the time and keep our systems working properly. Water supply does limit growth.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Dec. 13, 2017 7:12 a.m.

    Cities sell water using 1 million water meters by the gallon. We have real water use data.

    We spend $90,000 a day in State water agency paperwork, but can't track water use?

    We meter sewerage, but can't track water use?

    How did Utah's Water Cartel and their San Francisco water policies aren't good for Utah.

    It's illegal to drink rain barrel water.

    The State Engineer is anti-farmer, anti-home builder, and pro-Federal control of our water.

    You can plant a tree depleting 400 gallons of water per day 365 days a year with no water permit.

    But you can't build a seasonal cabin depleting 8.65 gallons for 30 days a year unless you have a water permit.

    Our oldest cities hoarded so much water our younger cities have to pay them millions in a "water hoarding taxes."

    Public Food Providers (farmers) are virtually the only ones whose water rights are being grabbed, but Public Water Providers have water forfeiture immunity.

    The Feds have applied for 4.4 million acre-feet of water which is 4X's the water all our 246 cities use. The State Engineer won't deny these applications, but denies water application filed by farmers.

    Our water bureaucracies are too big and harming Utah.

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    Dec. 13, 2017 6:34 a.m.

    Israel uses 80% of its waste water and we use 1%. Unless we encourage farmers to go to drip irrigation which saves half the irrigation water we are going to be short. Agriculture uses 80% of the water. This state is booming with people moving in, buildings going up, large residential buildings and homes, etc. Something has to give.

  • wer South Jordan, UT
    Dec. 12, 2017 6:34 p.m.

    In spite of all the other alluring stories or events that make it to the news, water is, by far, the most important matter of all. No matter how many jobs are gained, lost, etc., how many sporting events take place, how many tourists visit, everything pales in comparison to the importance of water.

    Utah, like most states or the feds, has too many agencies that provide conflicting information or analysis. For the second driest in the nation to not really know how much water is gained or used and by whom or what groups, is inexcusable! I can guarantee that Arizona has an accurate idea of their water resources, as does Las Vegas, and they have 43 MILLION tourists a year.

    It's past time for the governor to put a charge into this issue by getting the agencies thinned out and finding out the truth of our water resources in 2018. In Utah, the most recent snow fall may be our last snow fall for a long, long time.