There's such a thing as a population outpacing their resources. Large
families, relatively cheap land, decent business climate, outdoor activities (if
you can find the elbow room). Why do we want to keep adding to the population?
I'm so sick of the "conserve" philosophy (or we'll raise your
prices) for Utah water users. A few years ago it was reported that if Utah
households completely quit using any water, it would amount to 20% less usage.
As has been commented, Utah agriculture is the villain here. Farmers need to
resort to the efficient sprinkler systems - no more flood irrigation.
Agriculture accounts for 80% of water used in the state!
Conservation of water always leads to higher water rates... Why? because water
companies product is, water, and when the water companies sells less water they
raise water prices to offset their lost of revenue they need to support their
overhead which they do not reduce to reflect the loss revenue caused by selling
less of their product, Which is Water!
Some have posted that the problem is over building and it is true that a
growing population requires, More of everything from homes to water usage, and
it would be nice if growth could be managed other than managed by dying. The
Wasatch front and back isn't dying and that is a good thing, as well as a
bad thing. So want do you do? in another 20 years the population
will be twice want it is today, an again, what are we to do? other than to make
bad decisions that cause Northern Utah to die?
We don't need to pay more for water. It is a basic necessity of life. We
need to help people take out more of their yards and grow crops that do not
require as much water. Get rid of swimming pools and most golf courses.
Water is much more important than oil. Have you ever heard of a Utah US Senator
or Utah US Representative introduce legislation designed to convert salt water
into fresh water? No!But you have seen many Legislative actions to protect
the market place for the big energy companies here in Utah. All supported by
the far right leaders of our state. Well here is some news for these
visionaries (sic). You can't drink oil.
A lot of water in Utah is wasted growing low-value alfalfa and other feed
grasses. Most of this water is used by part-time farmers who use inefficient
methods and literally waste millions of gallons of water.It's
time to pull the plug on poorly managed ag land. This would save more water
than almost anything else we could do. And it would be a big shot in the arm
for Utah's economy.
Maybe if we pay more for water, it will help us change our landscapes to
something more appropriate for the desert. Oil shortages were nothing compared
with what water shortages would be, given the projections in growth population
for Utah. We need to get a handle on this.
Utah doesn't really grow much that humans can eat! Most of our
resources are devoted to growing things that cows can eat, so we in turn, can
eat the cows!In the process we use copious amounts of water!If you really want to save water, we need to quit eating beef!
242 gallons per person per day. I live in California and our household which is
7 people uses on average 6ccf's per month which calculates out to about 21
gallons per person. 242 is just plain outrageous. Learn to conserve Utah because
we've got nothing to share with you
@Jay "... implemented pricing structures that charged little up to a certain
point, then drastically more after that..."Jay,Do
you want market pricing or don't you? It costs the same amount to deliver
the 3rd 10,000 gallons to a home as it does the 1st. I don't pay more for
my 2nd or 3rd fountain drink than I do my first.A fine case can be
made for market pricing. And a case can be made for subsidies to assure we have
water.But it is not honest to use market arguments for selected
subsidies.The pricing scheme you've proposed subsidies
apartments and other high density housing. If that is your intent, state so
clearly and forthrightly. Don't hide behind claims of wanting market
pricing.Personally, I'm not interested in further subsidizing
newcomers to Utah who then vote to turn us into the problematic place they
fled.I've lived in southern Arizona. Xeriscaped yards increase
urban heating effect a lot.Every new development should include a
secondary water system. No reason to use culinary for outdoor watering. There
is a lot of water in Utah fine for irrigating that cannot economically be made
drinkable.Ultimately, slow the growth. Residents over developers.
Why would I be super surprised to see an item included in the article that
mentioned how often government facilities--parks, golf courses, schools,
government buildings, etc--water during the heat of the day; water during a rain
storm; or water more than needed; then lecture the common person that they need
to monitor and meter their water usage, water only during certain hours, or on
certain days? Those who produce our water and sell it to us can't use
enough themselves. I know during a drought some people though flowing fire
hydrants to assure there was enough water available for a properly designed fire
sprinkler system would be available (a spin-off benefit was several maintenance
issues were usually identified, such as non-functioning hydrants) but yet they
turn a blind eye to the really big water users in the State and that is
agriculture. We are an agrarian State, true, but farmers should be asked to
conserve and/or pay more too, not just the home owners.
Lived in a different community in central Davis County during a previous
drought, & the City asked citizens to conserve--they did; price went UP
because water revenues went down with fewer shutoffs & expensive
turn-back-on fees. After the drought with plenty of water available, price staid
HIGH..no reduction even though it was to force conservation, which FAILED to
accomplish anything meaningful long term.Water is NOT a free market
commodity. Local Government demands their budget of water revenue be met
regardless of gallons used by everyone or anyone. At one location I paid
property taxes for FOUR water districts; 2 secondary, two primary. Where I live
now I pay higher prop taxes because we are in the North Davis Sewer District
area, yet our waste is piped to/ treated by the Central District. Go figure!!
If you restructure water rates, fine; but BE CAREFUL to make it
revenue neutral with property taxes because taxing entities operate like the old
sand lot baseball tradition of getting their hands higher up on the bat. Tell
us how you'll prevent that from occurring. (You won't!)Agriculture is using all the water; just thought you'd like to know, so
charge them more!
Why is it that so many smart people bring up the issue of market pricing of
water, but will undergo a literal brain storm when the same principal is applied
to the massive subsidies given to UTA for its minute contribution to
transportation.The 2012 audit of UTA by the Legislature's
Auditor General found that each trip on FrontRunner cost over $30 each way,
requiring 95% subsidy, [ riders paid only 5% of total costs for operation and
capital investment. BTW, there is a Utah State law requiring UTA and its general
manager to recoup, to the best extent possible, the full cost of each ride it
provides. Unsurprisingly, UTA has thumbed its nose at the Legislature and
Governor for 15 years as it used massive freebie programs to pump ridership,
Utah law take the hindmost.Several years ago, Dr. Michael Ransom,
the Chair of the Dept. of Economics at BYU reported, "The economics of
UTA's rail lines boggle the mind," and UTA's Draper TRAX was
tantamount to economic insanity, because the prior transit use in the corridor
was only 50 boardings a day. A train could carry 25,000 a day, a monster
mismatch.Remember, "The Utah Way", ALWAYS requires solid
How about addressing the eliphant in the room, OVER BUILDING??How
about reigning in the Willie nillie out of control city/county councils that
either have no city planner or whom are bought by developers! ei: the Olympia
project? Actually the State of Utah should put a moratorium on all
future building including commercial! How much water is the new FB
Data center going to use? The new inland port? High density housing?The Governor needs to put out a report on the roads and water usage of every
city/county in the state, so we can see the state/fed road improvemments that
are planned for the next 15 yrs, and where the magic water is coming from in
our drought stricken state for the next 20 yrs?Utah is becoming the
new California and we don't need to look very far to see the writing on the
wall!It's all fine and dandy the state looks great on paper!
Wages are not going up, but Corp Greed sure is! Corporations should be made to
make wages rise with the percentage their development causes property values to
rise!So paying more for water? No, it does not fix the problem!
Notice that everytime water usage drops, do to conservation, that in a short
time your water rates increase...question why is that? the reason is that water
companies sell water and when the product they sell is reduced their revenue
also is reduced and because their overhead is never adjusted to the lost of
revenue your water bill goes up.So next time you are asked to lower
your water usage be aware that your water bill will increase.
While some are crying that Agriculture uses the largest amount of water...before
you, have the water companies run a study looking at how tight and water
efficient (water tight) their transport pipes and resivoir systems are. I bet
they use/waste more than even Agriculture. Here in So Cal, the state is trying
to save millions of gallons from the people when the water companies out here
have such leaky pipes that the water companies drip so much water in one week
that it equals the same amount that people in their homes would use in a year.
Bottom line...tell the regulators to shut up and to go to the water providers
and fix their infrastructure.
@McBob: Just because you don't currently have the option of more than one
water supplier doesn't mean it can't be done. When I lived in Texas we
had 3 or 4 choices of power companies, but the power all came in on the same
wires. Why not have a choice of water providers who lease the same pipes? Also
cities could buy their water on the open market and price it at market rates.
Everyone talking about new rules, regulations and conservation efforts is
advocating big government solutions that don't work as well as allowing
freedom to rule and seeing what creative solutions emerge.
I accept the principle that we should pay a realistic price for culinary water,
the term "market price" is open to debate. I would suggest that any
major effort to reduce the use of urban domestic water be coupled with letting
homeowners take out front lawns and parking strip lawns or greenery for
xeriscape landscaping. Most municipalities require lawns to be planted and
maintained under penalty of law and are either oblivious to the current drought
or cling to a mid-west ideal of greenery ad nauseam.Lawn is a crop
we plant, tend, harvest and throw away. Someone said Urban Utah needs to look
more like Tucson, AZ. The have few lawns and husband their water carefully. We
don't.To get into better use of water for waste management, try
low flush toilets, urinals in home bathrooms, motion sensitive faucets in
bathrooms and lower diameter piping to shower heads and, heaven forbid - a tax
on a second tub.Also require developers to identify and guarantee
water source(s) for all new developments. No water, no way.Oh, it
was agriculture needs that got congress to fund our water projects, not urban
growth. The farmers were here or there first.
Target those that use water the the vast majority of water in the state:
agriculture. Specifically, irresponsible farming methods like flood irrigation
to grow alfalfa (much of which is shipped to China!). Secondary
water for lawns take up a very small, but not minute, portion. Simply
installing meters on these to simply inform people their water usage encourages
them to reduce. The worst thing you can do is charge more money for
house/culinary water. It's a very small fraction of overall water use, and
the most important.
People who have large amounts of water could and would pay the larger bills from
the non-free market system we have. The people that would not be able to pay
for the water would then get beat up by the cities because the drive strip was
brown, or the lawn died. I know people right now in Salt Lake City who cannot
afford to water their lawn due to the cost. I have done budgets for them.
The State should lead from the top down, we live in a desert, our ancestors that
lived before us did not waste water. Just because modern technology of how our
water is delivered does not mean our water supply is infinite. Native plants
should be used for landscaping. Just because you can afford it doesn't mean
you should waste water for a yard...
I am curious about this free market solution. Can I have water delivered by
another water company to my home or am I limited to what my city can provide?
We all know the answer to that. There is no free market solution to this. The
water companies can not compete to deliver water to our houses. If there was
some way to compete, then they would make sure there were not leaks in the
system, because that would be money "down the drain". Cities would also
make a concerted effort not to water during rain storms and during the middle of
the day.I have web enabled sprinkler controllers that look at the
weather report and water more, less, or not at all, depending on the information
received. Seems like a good way to knock 20 or 30% off my usage. Now, using
the most accurate technology to do that is a free market solution.Slow down the growth in population, don't require that open space needs
to be landscaped and the gross amount of water we use and need will increase at
a much smaller rate.
I don't inherently have a problem with using price to encourage water
conservation. However, residential landscape use of water accounts for only 6%
of all water used in the state. Agricultural use accounts for 82% of all water
use. Simple math should lead water managers to seek savings in the greatest
area of opportunity: agricultural use. Clearly, there has been some
improvement, but you only need to drive the length of HWY 89 during the day to
see wasted water. Lessons learned at home regarding daytime watering ought to
be applied on a larger scale on farms and ranches. Continual harping on
homeowners about water use and raising the price of water is an effort butting
up against the law of diminishing returns.
I disagree,It should be reduced.
Utahn's need to be paying much more for water?Jay if your water
bill is $50, feel free to write a check for $120. Lead by example.
@red smith: Where does the water that we lose through leaks go? It probably
makes its way back into groundwater, recharging aquifers. Fixing leaks
won't solve the problem. Complaining about bureaucracy won't solve the
problem. We can either choose a solution that entails even more bureaucracy,
which is more government regulations, restrictions and allocation by government
decree, or we can have a free market and let the collective wisdom of free
people acting in their economic best interest decide.
The State spends $22 million a year or $90,000 a day on water paperwork created
by 3 State water divisions.The State has spent $400 million in the
past 25 years and will spend another $600 million in the next 25 years or $1
Billion on dry water paperwork.We'd be better off spending that
money on building new reservoirs. We could easily combine all 3
water divisions into 1 division and cut the budget in half. The $11 million a
year in annual saving should be used to build new reservoirs.We
can't drink dry water paperwork which is what we keep buying with our
millions.Despite spending $22 million a year we have 1985 water
regulations harming Home Builders, Farmers, and wasting water.Utah
leaks about 15 Deer Creeks from city water mains and old canals enough water for
4 million new people, but we don't collect water leak data. Utah has the Nancy Pelosi water laws which are further Left than San
Francisco.It's time to cut State water paperwork in half, cut
water cartel power in half and save $300 million for real wet water we can
@Gpagentry: If a great, green lawn is a priority to you, maybe you
shouldn't have chosen to live in a desert. Market pricing of water is long
overdue. What if we reduced property taxes proportionately so people could
better afford to pay their water bill while also giving them real economic
incentives to cut their use? Farmers also need to pay a market price. Why are we
growing thirsty alfalfa in the desert? It makes no sense given the water
situation. We need to have government allocate a certain amount of water to keep
our rivers and lakes healthy, and auction off the rest to the highest bidder.
That might mean fewer golf courses, lawns and alfalfa fields. So be it. The
market knows better than any person or group how this precious resource should
Inexpensive water encourages waste. When it hits the wallet, people will
prioritize how they want to use this precious resource. The arid West was never
meant to be festooned with private green lawns.
Well, you have your opinion. I disagree. I think a compromise should be worked
out. After the water conservation measures were passed three years ago, we are
already suffering with increased water bills. The "we" being a small
group of over 55 in a small HOA area. We used to have great, green lawns. They
are already turning brown because we have had to cut back on watering. Since we
are seniors, most of us are on fixed incomes (read Social Security).