Utah farmers' dreams drying up: 'We will run out of water'

Utah drought drying up hopes and dreams

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  • Guido Pescatore Layton, UT
    June 26, 2018 11:02 a.m.

    "It's heartbreaking. There is really nothing you can do about it."

    That is a mindset we need to change. I agree we cannot change the weather, but we could be far more efficient than we currently are. Stop drowning grass that is not native to this area. Start actually charging people for water that they use - culinary AND secondary. Only when people start to realize the true price they are paying for water will they start taking conservation seriously.

    So while there might be nothing we WANT to do about it, NOW is when we need to make the hard choices before we are forced to make near-impossible decisions.

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    June 26, 2018 10:26 a.m.

    There is plenty of water and enough to spare if we use it wisely. Utah wastes a lot of water on low-value crops like alfalfa and other low-value crops. If we charged a reasonable price for water, especially agricultural use water, the market would force needed changes to how we use this precious resource. We also waste a lot of water on large residential lawns - and its not just the size of the lawns that is the issue. Many over-water, water during the heat of the day, have poorly laid out sprinkler systems, and fail to properly adjust their sprinkler heads and end up watering streets and sidewalks instead of landscaping. Until we price water appropriately, the poor allocation of this limited resource will continue.

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    June 26, 2018 6:52 a.m.

    Agriculture uses 80% of our water. Only about 5% of the land may be useful for farms. It is time the state came in and helped farmers install drip irrigation which uses half the water. If subsurface irrigation is possible depending on the type if soil it will save 90% of the water and the crops are superior sufficiently so that it will pay for the system. I suggest the state help farmers install drip irrigation. In California they have installed over $2 billion of drip irrigation as of a year or two ago.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2018 3:59 p.m.

    @ConservativeCommonTator
    "water can be sent uphill. Look at So. Cal. and you'll see pipelines going up hills and mountains. You can't send it uphill by way of a culvert, but in the culvert you can have a pumping station."

    That is true, though it's pricey and you still need a decent source of water to divert to make it work and there aren't a whole lot of places around these parts where an area thinks they have a bunch of water to spare consistently.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2018 3:54 p.m.

    @mom3
    "Why is the answer always restrict our freedom. "

    Answers tend to involve limitations when the problem has a lack of something. Same reason one can't buy a mansion as a middle class family, in that case the issue is not having enough money.

  • Denyse Dayton, USA, OH
    June 12, 2018 8:16 a.m.

    You have two problems that can be handled with one major change......Trail Mountain wildland fire in Emery County being fought with water methods rather than Evaporated Nitrogen; and farmers worried they will not have enough water to get viable harvests this year. To save water, end all fires with evaporated Nitrogen gas - evaporated from liquid Nitrogen, the fourth coldest liquid on earth.....and Nitrogen is 78% of the air so it is everywhere. The technology is now 15 years old and is blocked from use by the US Forest Service, but locals can elect to use it. Let's be fair to all.....If Evaporated Nitrogen ends fires rapidly, cleanly, without leaving residue, use it. Cost is low. Fire losses should be low as well.

    What does Evaporated Nitrogen do? It forms a cohesive cloud of inert, cryogenically cold, pure Nitrogen, N2, gas which displaces Oxygen and cools the fuel. It moves in a fire environment with the winds ending the fire as it moves and rises as it cools the fuel heating up the gas cloud which increases in size. In wildland fires, it leaves the fire rising above the canopy stopping the ember burning keeping the fire from moving ahead. Try it. You'll like it.

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2018 1:45 p.m.

    Ultimately, economics will dictate desalinization. Israel already does that, and quite efficiently. An advantage of desalinated water is that it does not cause the gradual degradation of farmland by salt left from evaporating irrigation water.

    Desalination won't and shouldn't begin in Utah, though. We're too far from the sea. What will be needed will be desalination to supply water to San Diego and the agricultural lands of the California desert. That will benefit Utah, because the less Colorado River water those areas need, the more the upstream states can retain.

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    June 11, 2018 12:57 p.m.

    worf

    "Sorry! But acceptance of the many, doesn't make anything right."

    How true! Take the liquor laws, lottery laws and marijuana laws in Utah for instance, Acceptance of those laws the many doesn't make anything right. Glad you agree with that.

    "There are many scientists who believe man made climate change is a hoax. "

    Actually, there are only a FEW Scientists that don't believe climate change is man made. I believe it's between 2-3% that don't believe we are responsible for climate change. Of course, if your news comes from Fox it may seem like "many" to you.

  • ConservativeCommonTater West Valley City, UT
    June 11, 2018 9:42 a.m.

    Frozen Fractals - Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2018 8:43 p.m.
    @dpal
    "The problem with piping water from alternative locations is that there aren't too many efficient options since for one you can't send it uphill."

    water can be sent uphill. Look at So. Cal. and you'll see pipelines going up hills and mountains. You can't send it uphill by way of a culvert, but in the culvert you can have a pumping station.

    Newlin - Sandy, UT
    June 8, 2018 9:03 p.m.
    "As a pastor once said when asked by local farmers to pray for rain,”I’ll pray but I wouldn’t expect too much from the Lord, because by nature this is dang dry country.”

    "So it is with Utah..."

    God will provide, just pray harder.

    How much alfalfa is sent to China? That's Utah water being sent to China.

    Our legislators have the answer to the water shortage. Build more houses! Everyone have 8 more kids! Get more data farms that use even more water. That should work.

  • worf McAllen, TX
    June 10, 2018 10:35 p.m.

    @eastcoastcoug,

    Drinking alcohol is accepted in most countries. But it doesn't mean its safe to drink.

    Angry gods causing volcanoes was once believed and folks accepted human sacrifice because of it.

    Sorry! But acceptance of the many, doesn't make anything right.

    There are many scientists who believe man made climate change is a hoax. There are many causes for climate change not related to human activity. Sunspot cycle and varying temperatures of the earths core are some causes.

    Having said that, I must accept some climate change. Human activity led to a heavy flooding in the days of Noah.

  • Millenial Snow Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2018 7:57 p.m.

    In the desert there is going to be a tipping point for water. We can only sustain so big of a population, and farming, and ranches before something gives out.

    There is no connection to human beings and their environment anymore.

  • SMcloud Sandy, UT
    June 10, 2018 7:56 p.m.

    We can put our heads in the sand all we want - but the fact is that climate change is happening.

    Instead of doing the same thing over an over again, perhaps we should spend a little money preparing for that change - Amsterdam is doing it. Venice is doing it. The US military is doing it.

    Those who cannot adapt will die out.

  • mom3 Payson, UT
    June 10, 2018 1:29 p.m.

    Why is the answer always restrict our freedom. If you want a gravel yard have a gravel yard, but do not ask government to tell residents and business how much lawn we can have or how big our gardens ect. can be. Those of you that believe the lies of going green by all means do it of your own free will, have a gravel yard, stop asking government to force your ideologies on all of us. We should be making our own choices with OUR property including water. There are enough home owners out there that do not take care of there lawns and do not have flowers and gardens that it will and does even out. Also there are many that are living in apartments and condos by their own choice and have no yards. Of course farmers use the most water they grow the food we see in the stores that feed us,so those that choose not to have a garden can get there vegetables. The hay and alfalfa feed the cows and other animals we need for food also, please use some common sense about this.

  • today gunnison, UT
    June 10, 2018 11:31 a.m.

    If some one is going to comment at least have a little knowledge of farming and water. You just don't move to another part of the country. Climate and soil conditions determine what can be grown in a certain areas. Alfalfa does well in this area and in important for animal feed. It is a small percentage of Utah Hay production that is exported to China but it does help offset our trade deficit along with other agricultural crops. Food is the most important commodity of any nation. Farmers know how to irrigate there crops and use the best practices available. We are reliant on a higher source for the blessing of nature. The farmer is directly affected by this but all will be if things continue with this drought. We need to show reverence to a higher source for our needs. Farmers are the salt of the earth. Thanks for all they do and we pray for an end of this drought.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    June 10, 2018 10:35 a.m.

    The Netherlands is using science and tech to come up with far higher crop yields using far less water and chemicals. They are educating the world on how to do it. So instead of chaining yourself to an impractical solution (importing water from Alaska or converting seawater), change your paradigm of how to irrigate and grow crops. See National Geographic's excellent article of last year for more info.

    Utah's rural counties seem stuck in 19th century means of making a living (irrigation for fields of hay to feed cattle, mining and forestry) or at least their politicians make it seem so. It's time for some new ideas and industry if they want to thrive in the future.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    June 10, 2018 10:28 a.m.

    @Worf,

    I've been reading about droughts at least as long as you have. But I also read that the hottest years on record have been in the past 2 decades. Man-caused global warming is a scientific fact and accepted in most countries, except the US, where Conservatives rejected it out of hand because Al Gore (a Democrat) was promoting the idea, and because most oil and gas companies are big GOP donors.

    I was raised a Conservative, but I'm more interested in conserving our planet and the future of my grandkids than I am of some ignorant ideology.

    Jobs in Solar, Wind and other renewables are now at the same level as Oil & Gas and growing 10-20% year on year. And long term, they will spell the decline of oil giants like Iran, Venezuela, Russia et al, whose Dictators & Oligarchs depend on oil money to stay in power.

    The days of carbon pollution and its narrow-minded politics are numbered. Don't chain yourself to this POV. You may now have your day with Trump but the next generation sees the world another way.

  • What in Tucket Provo, UT
    June 10, 2018 6:35 a.m.

    Agriculture takes 80% of the irrigation water. Half of the irrigation water evaporates and can't get into the ground. Thus savings in residential areas like gravel lawns and saving wastewater are good, but won't make a lot of difference. Drip irrigation saves half the water and sloping fields can be viable. It is not free to put it in. So the Govt needs a program to help farmers get into drip irrigation. Subsurface drip saves 90% of the water, and weeds are not watered, but requires a certain degree of sand. Still it might be usable in some farms and orchards and vineyards. Piping water from Alaska sounds good to me.

  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    June 9, 2018 11:58 p.m.

    i have to wonder how much of this shortage is caused by cities like Las Vegas taking water from Utah?

  • worf McAllen, TX
    June 9, 2018 7:32 p.m.

    I've been reading of droughts for the past forty years.

    Politicians have a habit of creating or exaggerating a crisis and most often blame human activity.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2018 2:27 p.m.

    Limit how much lawn residents, businesses, and gov't bldgs. can hve. Make zero-scaping more affordable. Water for growing food makes a lot more sense than water for lawns.

  • Wyoming Jake Casper, WY
    June 9, 2018 1:22 p.m.

    The world is still coming out of the last ice age. That warming and drying combined with the human impact on the globe will cause increased desertification. Instead of wishing and hoping for a better future we need to figure out how humankind is going to cope with the changes. Instead of a big push for green energy we need to figure out how to develop fresh water sources and ways to distribute water over large areas.

  • Chad S Enid, OK
    June 9, 2018 1:06 p.m.

    Bermuda grass is highly drought tolerant and stays green under very dry conditions. Yet Utah classifies it as a week and won't allow it in lawns. Admittedly, the Wasatch Front isn't under such dire drought with reservoirs serving SL and UT counties nearly full, so lawn watering in Provo or Sandy isn't really relevant to the drought discussed in the article. But there are things Utah can do to conserve.

  • VIDAR Murray, UT
    June 9, 2018 12:01 p.m.

    Utah_Happyman - Orem, UT

    Actually we use only 6% of our water on residential lawns. 82% of our water is used by mostly alfalfa farmers who sell the hay to China. So really what we are doing is selling our water to China.

  • suzyk#1 Mount Pleasant, UT
    June 9, 2018 11:40 a.m.

    As I read all these comments about lack of water for our farmers it brought many tears of sadness. Our farmers work so blasted hard out in that sun, to be able to provide for their families and thousands of others. I think we should have a Sanpete County fast for these hard working farmers. I know Heavenly Father will make it possible for them to receive rain if it is His will. We will keep praying for you...don't give up...there is always the possibility of a miracle to come to Sanpete County.

  • mom3 Payson, UT
    June 9, 2018 11:21 a.m.

    When we become a God fearing people again and stop worshiping the earth and environmentalism the resources will be there. The green movement is not about saving the planet it is about money and control and those in control of this movement are using fear tactics to get Americans to do their bidding I.E not enough water. Environmentalist are causing the problem and it will continue until we wake up. Do we want to be like Europe, with government telling how many times we can flush, how long our showers can be ect. We fought a war to be free of government control. If we lose our farms, our right to have a large gardens, our water rights how will we be self sufficient? Do you think that might be the plan? There are already states that restrict those rights I do not want Utah to become like them. There are states that fine you if you have a garden on the balcony of your apartment! The plan is control from the top down. WE need to to be the first responders not government, WE need to figure this water issue out. Property rights were the catalyst to our freedom including water. Government does not own the water the people do. Please wake up Utahans stop allowing this.

  • Impartial7 DRAPER, UT
    June 9, 2018 11:05 a.m.

    @dpal;
    "This water shortage thing keeps coming up for most of the western states. We pump oil all over the place. Why can't we pump water to hard hit areas in years of critical shortages?"

    Wanna pay $2.50/gal for water?
    The people that you vote for spend tax dollars for 200 Billion dollar companies to move here, bring more people and use more water. They build huge developments to house more people. They sit on water boards and make under the table deals to their cronies and corporations. Wait until we have a few drier winters, back to back. The only way to help yourself is to vote differently.

  • mom3 Payson, UT
    June 9, 2018 11:00 a.m.

    The climate is controlled by God not humans. Americans need to recognize his role in our lives again. Stop turning to government to figure the water issues out all they do is restrict our rights and freedom. WE need to figure the water issue out, WE need to look to ourselves to create a way to get it where it needs to go. Utah IS growing way to fast yet there is nothing being done to insure there is enough to go around without taking from those who were born and raised here and restricting their rights. The cities only care about the tax base not property rights or water rights. Stop the growth. Stop eating up all our land with more development. We need the farmers and ranchers, where do think food comes from? Stop suggesting tax payer incentives to have smaller lawns, not being allowed to flush toilets ect. that is a very dangerous door to open look into the history of chairman Mao Tse-tung it started with class envy, that kind of thing can be started by being angry with a neighbor because you think they have to large of a lawn and you think it hurts the greater good, many have lost there lives over the so called greater good, in America we believe in the individual.

  • Applelovernow Henderson, NV
    June 9, 2018 10:36 a.m.

    Alfalfa is a very water intensive crop. I lived in the Imperial Valley of California for 10 years where alfalfa and cotton sucked up a lot more water than vegetables did. They have had to make adjustments to what is grown to conserve water, since they are at the end of the Colorado allocation. A lot of planning and cooperation goes into this. Perhaps that is part of the problem in Utah. With some encouragement I believe the farmers of San Pete could adjust their crops accordingly.

    I have noticed when visiting Utah there is a huge waste of water by consumers. We in the Las Vegas Valley have had landscape water conservation in place for almost 20 years. During that time the valley has almost doubled in population, yet our water usage has gone down. We can visually see Lake Mead and KNOW we have to conserve. When in Utah I see sprinklers watering streets, water pouring down the streets into gutters, acres of water hungry grass. As for Washington County in Southern Utah, you all should be on the same watering conservation plan we are in LV valley. A recent report shows that Washington county residents use per person far more water than we do in LV valley. Why?

  • Goldminer Salem, UT
    June 9, 2018 9:53 a.m.

    Yes, our current drought is not good; but no drought is. Greenies blaming the farmers for watering too much, or using coal for energy or any other excuse. It doesn't solve the problem. Politicians have the solution: tax the people more! Right? Always solves the problems. duh. :(
    The drought will end, they always do and we really have no control over it.
    I'll trust the farmers far more than the pols.

  • Lifelong Republican Orem, UT
    June 9, 2018 9:43 a.m.

    For those wondering about the Data Center water usage, they recycle their water and use it over and over again. It isn't a daily draw on our water supply as some are stating.

  • Sanefan Wellsville, UT
    June 9, 2018 9:27 a.m.

    A lot of comments by folks that know nothing of farming and water conservation. Farmers are probably the most conscientious folks there are about water conservation. They have to be. They are continually upgrading systems to be more efficient and to use the least water possible. They spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on improved irrigation systems. Also, farmers have water rights that they have owned for generations, long before the majority of people lived here; it's as valuable and as tangible as the land they/you own. Lastly, you irrigate when your turn comes up, that means day and NIGHT. You get a set time to draw your water from the canal and in most cases you have hundreds of acres to irrigate. Without farmers there is no food. If it comes down to flushing the toilet, watering your yard, washing your car, having a slipnslid/back yard pool or growing crops; I'll take the latter.

  • Brave Sir Robin San Diego, CA
    June 9, 2018 9:10 a.m.

    You know, rather than complaining about not having enough water, maybe you should farm someplace other than the second dries state in the union. It's like living in the Amazon and complaining about there being too many trees.

    Move your farm to the Midwest where there's more rain, more reservoirs, and aquifers.

  • Tumbleweed Centerville, UT
    June 9, 2018 8:58 a.m.

    "Much of Utah is in extreme or exceptional drought. Those areas without reservoirs storing water have a growing season that will end drastically early. Farmers are idling their fields and say the conditions are as bad as they have ever seen it."

    Why are there "areas without reservoirs?" Because "environmentalists" make it legally so hard and expensive to build one?

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    June 9, 2018 8:27 a.m.

    As the utah home builders association says - "build baby build".

    Like one poster did mention, Southern California, Las Vegas and much of Arizona exist because of water sourced from distant locations. It's time that Utah figure out that it needs to source water from other locations. If as they project Utah Valley has 1.5 million residents by 2050, its time to start really planning and building out the infrastructure to support it. If agriculture and southern Utah community sustainability is a real issue... start building the infrasctature to support it.

  • Utah_Happyman Orem, UT
    June 9, 2018 8:06 a.m.

    Kentucky bluegrass is Utah's number one agriculture product...sad but true...people have their heads buried in the sand.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    June 9, 2018 8:04 a.m.

    Too many people; too little water. With trends going in really bad directions. For several decades now. Time for farmers to get out of their business and start old folks homes.

  • Earth speaks Escalante, UT
    June 9, 2018 8:01 a.m.

    maybe the rancher/farmers will learn that watering 24 hours a day in the same spot is wasteful. The roots can only absorb so much; then the water vanishes into sand/soil. So why not conserve?

  • Red Smith American Fork, UT
    June 9, 2018 7:15 a.m.

    Our irrigation company (Big Ditch in SLCO) is forced to waste the outdoor water for 70,000 people annually.

    In the past 15 years, our irrigation company has been forced to waste by Salt Lake City an amount water equal to Deer Creek.

    Salt Lake City forces us to waste water by blocking its transfer to other areas. SLC forces this massive water wasting to devalue our water and grab it for pennies.

    Our irrigation company is not unique. There is a silent war being waged by Utah's water cartel against the farmer's water.

    Farmers need equal rights to water as Public Water Suppliers, because food is a critical to life as water.

    Our State water managers must end their water war against farmers and stop federalizing Utah's water.

  • batfink Australia, 00
    June 9, 2018 6:56 a.m.

    You guys need to figure out the highest elevated river in Canada and then pipe it to the lowest point in Utah. I think the lowest point in Utah is around 2100ft.

    Then you have to charge irrigators for the amount they use. In Australia, the fee for irrigation water factors in the cost of the pipe/channel and its maintenance.
    Of course, you'd have to make a $ deal with Canada/native peoples but they aren't usually opposed to fresh water as a ruptured fresh water pipe doesn't lead to exxon type enviro disaster.

    # Letting fresh water run into the sea is the worst kind of waste- the more water for irrigation there is, the lower food prices are globally.

  • Baron Scarpia Logan, UT
    June 9, 2018 6:05 a.m.

    The Water - Energy Nexus is a key issue here.

    Some have mentioned the cost of desalination and distribution of water, but at the heart of this is ENERGY needed to treat and pump water. The issue here in Utah is that because we're dependent on coal-fired electricity, that type of energy is very water intensive. It takes hundreds of gallons of water to create the steam to turn the turbines and flush boilers to create one megawatt of electricity. Thus, any plans to solve our water issues warrants getting off coal and onto renewable energy sources (wind and solar) that don't use any water. (Nuclear is also water intensive, so that is out of the question as well).

    Years ago, I recall a campaign in Utah, "Wind Power Saves Water," but no one cared. Perhaps that message needs to be reconsidered. Wind and solar energy, hosted on farmland, can be a "second harvest" for many farmers who can get guaranteed land lease payments. This can be extremely helpful to rural communities economically during droughts and bad growing seasons.

    Utah's future should be waterless energy production.

  • Mainly Me Werribee, 00
    June 9, 2018 6:01 a.m.

    A lot of this is called Geo-engineering / cloud seeding. Utah is one of the most weather manipulated States in America. Why? to stop rain and make independent people reliant on the Government.

    Monsanto just got bought out by Bayer a big pharmaceutical company. I'm sure wherever their GMO crops are there is water also. If you can control the food than you can control the masses.

  • scrappy do DRAPER, UT
    June 9, 2018 5:46 a.m.

    Hay is pretty water intensive and we live in a desert

    Just saying

  • Joe Schmoe Orem, UT
    June 9, 2018 4:27 a.m.

    We all need to conserve water but agriculture seriously needs to come into the modern times with their watering methods. Look at the main picture to the article and you will see a large percentage of the water drifting off into the air. Add a little wind to that as stated in the article and it gets even worse.

    What crops will grow best in our climate?

  • JimInSLC Salt Lake City, UT
    June 9, 2018 1:39 a.m.

    How about a report on how the NSA Data Center, which uses up to 1.7 million gallons a day, is dealing with this drought condition. I'm sure their data has a higher priority than agriculture and live stock.

    Just wait till the Facebook Data Center at Eagle Mountain is in operation. Facebook is purchasing water rights. Translation, they'll be draining ground water reserves. I really hope those 30 - 50 jobs are going to be worth the cost.

  • marxist Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2018 11:36 p.m.

    The aridification of the climate change models is here.

  • BioPowertrain Detroit, MI
    June 8, 2018 11:05 p.m.

    Nonsense. I'm a 4th generation Utah farmer & rancher myself with zero sympathy for heart of america conservatives who criticize asking the government for any help (see today's page 1 abt AG Reyes trying to shoot down the entire ACA) except when it comes to their own greenbelt tax credits, crop support payments & drought bailouts. Guess what? Sometimes there isn't enough water to farm in the desert. Let's quit whining about it and come up with a solution. We have options:
    1. Jim Hansen had a plan for bringing in fresh water from Alaska when he ran for Governor 14 years ago. Call him and ask him to dust off his plan for us.
    2. Biofuel & fresh water can be produced from saltwater & algae. Yes it costs money, but not as much as most other options. Wouldn't it be something to have a few biofuel & fresh water plants on the Great Salt Lake? Of course, but rural politicians & ag industry leaders have decided to cry 'poor us' until now instead of actually doing anything about the situation. Get organized & disciplined, show some brains & passion, and work together for once to figure it out, just like we common-sense geniuses are always telling everyone else to do.

  • Pragmatic Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2018 10:58 p.m.

    Couple thoughts on this...Utah is a the 2nd driest state in the Country and we all need to conserve our precious resource of water. Global warming is real. We should be grateful that irrigation technology has improved such that much less water needs to be expended to grow our crops. Lastly, farmer have complained about droughts and lack of water since the dawn of time. They just can't help themselves. They will complain about a shortage of water months after record rainfall. It's just in their DNA to complain about lack of water....

  • The Educator South Jordan, UT
    June 8, 2018 10:33 p.m.

    What do you expect? We are the 2nd driest state in the nation! Duh!

    But I know I know, our farmers, developers, and republican politicians know better. Scientists and experts are merely elitists to be ignored.

    Just like man caused climate change, we’ve been warning you for years. You just haven’t listened. Time to

    Get Educated

  • Newlin Sandy, UT
    June 8, 2018 9:03 p.m.

    As a pastor once said when asked by local farmers to pray for rain,”I’ll pray but I wouldn’t expect too much from the Lord, because by nature this is dang dry country.”

    So it is with Utah...

  • stochra Holladay, UT
    June 8, 2018 8:49 p.m.

    Regarding dpal's comment about using desalinization to create freshwater and pumping it here, the challenge is cost. I don't know what rates our farmers are paying, but many of the water projects in the west were built to provide cheap water for agriculture. If you are going to desalinate the water, its going to be much more expensive, and its impossible to compete against crops grown with the cheap water.

  • Frozen Fractals Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2018 8:43 p.m.

    @dpal
    The problem with piping water from alternative locations is that there aren't too many efficient options since for one you can't send it uphill. Oil just needs to get down to a refinery (frequently at sea level). Plus, whatever you're diverting will cause people in that area to get concerned.

  • Fullypresent Salt Lake City, UT
    June 8, 2018 8:14 p.m.

    So, we are going to invite in more data companies that use a lot of water? What are our politicians thinking? Develop what little land we have left and take on even more water use?

    How about if politicians give financial incentives to people to take half their lawns out as part of the solution to the water problems?

  • dpal Provo, UT
    June 8, 2018 7:21 p.m.

    This water shortage thing keeps coming up for most of the western states. We pump oil all over the place. Why can't we pump water to hard hit areas in years of critical shortages? The planet has plenty of water. It's just not always in the right places and most of it is salt water. Our scientists can do amazing things like put a man on the moon, but we can't seem to find an economical way of changing sea water to fresh water and getting it to where it is most needed. By giving the problem adequate attention and funding, can't we solve this recurring problem?

  • Weston Jurney West Jordan, UT
    June 8, 2018 7:20 p.m.

    I'm no expert, but it does seem like maybe they'd get more out of their irrigation water if they watered at night.