Lawmakers take aim at significant water law reform

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  • H. Bob Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 2, 2018 10:50 a.m.

    Can someone tell me how it is that the executive director of the Kane County Water Conservancy Board (Mr. Noel) is able to run a bill that affects his industry? Don't we have conflict of interest rules in the Utah legislature? Oh yeah, that's that old "best-run" state canard again. Self-dealing is apparently expected if not encouraged.

  • aj6145 clearfield, ut
    Jan. 2, 2018 10:28 a.m.

    I wish they'd take aim at the horrible lack of HOA (Homeowner's Association) laws, or I should say total lack of HOA laws. Nevada has very specific laws to govern Associations and Utah has none. What happens is what happens everywhere else. If there's a chance to corrupt the system the corrupt people come forth. There's no way to verify election's of board members. There's no requirement for "open" elections. Yes, each Association has it's own rules but if someone corrupt gets himself elected, those rules can change very fast.
    Too many boards have closed elections, no way to verify results, no way to see where the money goes and the attorneys help the guy writing the check, or in other words the board members. NO ONE to protect the homeowners themselves. State legislature in Utah has totally missed the boat on this one. Something really needs to be done. There's lots of homeowners assoc. in Nevada and they are governed with fair guidelines for everyone. Open elections are "required" by law! Not so in Utah. In Nevada you can look at the books anytime you want. Not so in Utah. Ut state legislators are either clueless on this one or they're getting kick backs. One or

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 3:18 p.m.

    If Noel is involved then you better watch out

    He serves himself before he serves the people of Utah

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 1:35 p.m.

    @oaklandaforlife;
    "If Noel is involved, pay very close attention to this one."

    You got that right. Just wait til they ram a Utah taxpayer funded "needed pipeline" down our throats. "bleeding the Beast" (which is us taxpayers)

  • Lolly Lehi, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 8:17 a.m.

    This is at the least an important issue to address. Being in the Legislature is where one who is elected has their "success" based on how many bills she/he can pass. Proof of this is the ideas for laws which are beginning to flow from Legislators for the upcoming session. The Legislature therefore is a place where good ideas come to die and bad ideas are either resurrected or made worse.

    Incidentally, water issues are important issues and need to be visited.

  • Mr. Moots Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 31, 2017 12:15 a.m.

    We live in a desert and we need to stop landscaping our yards with so much grass and pretending we have the water for it. Especially this year. Look at the mountains. We are about 10 feet of snow behind.

    Just because you can afford to have a football field in your back yard and pay to water it doesn't mean you should be allowed to. The water is for everyone. We need to manage it better.

    If we are going to send the police after 5 year olds playing with a toy gun made out of a stick because we have some insane "zero tolerance" weapon policy then we should at least do the same thing for anyone polluting our water (Tibble fork reservoir incompetents, to industrial polluters). At least "Zero Tolerance" makes sense for that.

    Also, stop building in St. George. We are out of water down there. Just because people want to keep building doesn't mean we should let them. Building a Billion dollar pipeline to drain Lake Powell is not an option. The idea for us to pay for this nonsense so more developers can get rich is silly. Stop it!

  • oaklandaforlife Salt Lake City, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 9:01 p.m.

    If Noel is involved, pay very close attention to this one.

  • Prodicus Provo, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 8:25 p.m.

    Calling Mike Noel's bill a "reform" is a joke. Make no mistake: this bill exists so he and others like him can serve politically-connected developers and the ultra-wealthy while ruining the canyons and imperiling the state's water resources.

    It's not "hoarding land and water" to protect vital resources. And claiming that those like Salt Lake City with water rights should sell their water for the long term at prices based on the operating cost of water facilities ignores basic economics. Prices reflect demand, and those whose job is not to maximize revenue but to protect the public interest should also make prices reflect the cost to society (externalities).

    The cost to Utah residents of any serious effects from development up in the canyons on the watershed for millions below would be extreme.

    The cost to Utah residents of having the Great Salt Lake dry up - which becomes more of a real danger with every foolish political decision that promotes irresponsible water use - would be astronomical. It would join the drying of the Aral Sea and Owens Lake among the greatest disasters of mankind, turning our beautiful valleys, like those, into bowls of toxic dust.

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    Dec. 30, 2017 6:27 p.m.

    SLC is a great city with a poorly managed water department.

    "Protecting the waterhed" is used to deflect from double water rates, and triple staffing per water connection.

    Provo/ Orem produce safe drinking water without watershed police in Provo Canyon or controlling Sundance Ski Resort or Heber City with a temporary "surplus" water contract.

    Park City, Heber Valley, Alta, Cottonwood Heights, and Millcreek should not be paying SLC million in water hoarding taxes.

    No city has the right to hoard and choke new cities into paying water hoarding taxes.

    Jordan Valley produces safe drinking water for $48 per acre-foot using 600 TDS water compared to Laura Briefer's water dept's $480 per acre-foot at her Parleys treatment plant using cleaner 200 TDS water.

    SLC supplies unlimited water for unlimited resort and Public development.

    A basic shared water resource must not be weaponized to take private property without paying just compensation.

    There are no good reasons for cities to hoard land and water outside their boundaries.

    The average person drinks 11 gallons of tap water a year. The other 99.99% of "watershed protected" water goes to lawns, laundry, and toilets.