Sen. Mitt Romney sponsors bipartisan bill to bring running water to Utah Navajos

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  • Herbert Gravy Salinas, CA
    April 23, 2019 12:47 a.m.

    When is the good Senator going to sponsor a bill to stop illegal immigration and visa abuse?

  • ute alumni Salt Lake City, UT
    April 20, 2019 4:14 a.m.

    Surprised Mitt didn’t cosponsor with Warren. I guess she lost interest in her “people”.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 17, 2019 12:37 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil: "...Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is providing more than $352 million in loans and grants.."

    Apples and crankcases. From the article you selectively referenced:

    "$11 billion in new and improved water and wastewater infrastructure that has benefited nearly 15 million rural residents and almost 6 million households and businesses."

    So, that is 11,000 million to benefit 6 million households and businesses. That works out to < $2,000 per household/business. $2k

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 17, 2019 12:25 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil: "Give them waterless land..."

    "They were wronged and so costs don't matter today"?

    When it is Vegas or St. George, we hear, "People shouldn't live in the desert." Maybe that is the answer for the waterless land of the reservation.

    For $125,000 we can relocate a family to where there is running water, electricity, high speed internet, good schools for the kids, and jobs for the adults. Don't tell me we need to preserve some lifestyle. Hunter-gatherer lifestyle ceased with the reservation, never included indoor running water, and traditional lifestyle isn't respected for white ranchers.

    For less than $125k we can truck in water forever; 12k gallons is more than 6 or 8k needed each month. $40k will sink a 500 foot well and a $1k RO system will generate 20 gallons of pure drinking water a day.

    You've responded with raw costs of projects but without numbers served. Why only half the equation?

    TVA spent $2500 million for ~3 million homes. Per home cost < $1000. (Rural electrification in Phillipines is $700 a home today.) Additionally, TVA improved both shipping on the Tenns River and flood control across 5 States.

    $1k vs $125k per home isn't racism. It's math.

  • texas onery mo city, TX
    April 17, 2019 8:54 a.m.

    No Names makes a good point-the water could be delivered for much less than the romney bill would spend. But, to answer the question of whose water would be used-it would come from what California receives. Eastern Utah, western Colorado and Wyoming have little use for the water they own under the Lower Colorado River Compact created in the early 1900's, due to lack of economic development along the route of the river. The beneficiary is California, as the upstream unused water flows to California.
    Watch for virulent opposition to this bill from southern California and their lawmakers.

  • Thomas Jefferson Salt Lake City, UT
    April 17, 2019 7:59 a.m.

    We have been seeing it for some time and todays comments are more confirmation, conservatism as described by its most vocal proponents, has become a parody of itself. Ignoring what they have been given by the largess of the American people while actively trying to deny running water to the native people we took this land from. Such class on display.

  • Bob Tanner Price, UT
    April 16, 2019 10:46 p.m.

    I agree that he Native Americans need reliable and fresh running water. And I am happy that Senator Romney seems so confident and Presidential in being able to do this work in a such bilateral way. Much needed and rare in Washington. I congratulate the Senator in his effort.

  • utahute69 Laguna Niguel, CA
    April 16, 2019 9:18 p.m.

    So, tell us exactly what the Department of Indian Affairs does besides being good bureaucrats. The only amazing thing about this story is that it took so long to get get it done. BTW, it is not uncommon for East Coast residents to drill for water and have septic fields for new single family homes. I wonder if anyone considered drilling for water as an option to this expensive alternative.

  • jimjr Kaysville, UT
    April 16, 2019 9:03 p.m.

    Romney would never get elected now. Dems would crush him and not enough Repub support across the country especially within the Freedom Caucus.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    April 16, 2019 8:34 p.m.

    "The bigger question might be who is losing water rights so the water can be diverted to the reservation."

    Give them waterless land, and then point out how much money it costs to deliver to this new dedicated homeland for these people. Let's look for a parallel as precedent....

    "ANCHORAGE, Oct. 23, 2014 – Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack today announced that USDA is providing more than $352 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural water and wastewater systems nationwide and make infrastructure improvements in rural Alaska villages."

    Hardly unprecedented. Had it not been for the TVA, much of Appalachia would not have had water, power, or communications. The accountants view of any of these projects didn't pay for themselves and were heavily subsidized. Much of Utah's south has subsidized infrastructure - power, water, telecommunications. Beehive Telephone received $16,000,000 grant to bring broadband to rural Utah.

    Lastly, in 2016, St. George residents used 294 gallons per person per day. That's 8,820 monthly per resident. And it's not about the number of households - but all the other uses of the water. Schools, businesses, agriculture. Jobs require water.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 16, 2019 8:10 p.m.

    @momsaid - sounds like socialism, but you make it sound so terrible! (And of course you're right.)

  • momsaid Winchester, VA
    April 16, 2019 7:04 p.m.

    One of the many difficulties for reservation dwellers is that the are forced to live off of the government (in most cases). No incentive to improve, few opportunities, and certainly no funds for such a project. The person who wondered at the price for only a couple of thousand people should understand that the system not only includes all the pumps and pipes, but that the people aren't in one small area. The homes are spread out, so they'll need more material and work to accomplish their goal.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    April 16, 2019 7:04 p.m.

    @UtahBlueDevil: "What I find impressive is it cost just as much to provide the infrastructure for the many other communities in the South West, but somehow the same kind of investment for Native Americans somehow equates to an Eastern Liberals boondoggle."

    $250,000,000 to deliver water to 2,000 households equals $125,000 per household. I'd be very interested to know which other communities have spent $125,000 per household to get running water. Let's not accuse racism until we verify someone is complaining about something that has actually been done elsewhere before.

    Just to do some math, it looks like I can get 6,000 gallons of water delivered for about $250. $125,000 invested at 5% interest yields $6250 a year, or $520 a month. So it turns out I can deliver 12,000 gallons of water a month, forever, for less than it will cost to put running water into these homes. Typical interior water usage is less than 6,000 gallons per month. So 12,000 seems a safe figure to use.

    Financially, this looks like a boondogle to me based on alternative delivery methods.

    The bigger question might be who is losing water rights so the water can be diverted to the reservation.

  • Pops NORTH SALT LAKE, UT
    April 16, 2019 5:33 p.m.

    @The Meliorist - you know, he did run for president. But the Democrats claimed he was the devil incarnate, so that didn't work out so well. And that's why we have Trump.

  • The Meliorist CA, 00
    April 16, 2019 4:49 p.m.

    Stands up to Trump, stands up for the Navajo people, and does it all with dignity and wisdom.

    So sad he isn’t running for President.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    April 16, 2019 4:45 p.m.

    "Those kind of numbers remind me of the so-called "bridge to nowhere" that Ted Stevens pushed for in Congress a few years ago. I guess "conservative" has a different meaning in New England".

    So the bridge equals fresh water, and "no where" means native Americans?

    What I find impressive is it cost just as much to provide the infrastructure for the many other communities in the South West, but somehow the same kind of investment for Native Americans somehow equates to an Eastern Liberals boondoggle.

    I'm glad that Romney is a new kind of "conservative" that believes all people in the southwest deserve the same services as other communities enjoy. My question is why didn't Hatch do the same thing many years ago? If Romney is a RINO, we need more conservative RINOs. Good for him.

  • Pipeliner1957 Denver, CO
    April 16, 2019 4:32 p.m.

    It’s about time elected law makers thought of some one else besides themselves. I’ve spent a lot of time on the Navajo nation land an have personally seen the conditions the people live in, now with the water coming down people with start to thrive an have have a respectable quality of life that they do very much deserve.

  • I.M. Fletch Salt Lake City, UT
    April 16, 2019 4:19 p.m.

    Settling the water rights issue seems makes to me, but what I don't understand is the nearly quarter BILLION dollars for some two thousand households. Those kind of numbers remind me of the so-called "bridge to nowhere" that Ted Stevens pushed for in Congress a few years ago.

    I guess "conservative" has a different meaning in New England.

  • Skinny Skip from Ojai Ventura, CA
    April 16, 2019 3:48 p.m.

    This is so LONG overdue. Having to live off of deliveries from water trucks and then making that water last for weeks is very tough. What makes this issue even tougher is knowing that drilling a well will not solve the problem. Much of the groundwater in this area has been contaminated by uranium mining from decades ago.