– by Amy Brunvand
Envision Utah gets it wrong
The much-ballyhooed Envision Utah public visioning process appears to have been turned into a push-poll for water developers. Envision Utah conducted a statewide survey asking the public to evaluate various scenarios for Utah’s future. The survey result found that people are highly interested in locally grown food and “98% of Utahns want to increase food self-sufficiency from agriculture.” However, the survey leapt to conclusions saying that Utahns are willing to build large, expensive and environmentally destructive water projects in order to subsidize industrial agriculture.
The survey results clearly point to a desire to protect the kind of pastoral working landscape and small farms described by writers like Wendell Berry. Big water projects in Utah mostly support subsidized alfalfa-growing, not the kind local food systems people thought they were supporting when they filled out the survey. The water-shortage scenario described in Envision Utah’s water report contradicts a recent Legislative Audit of Utah’s water future which found that conservation and better water management are sufficient to provide for future needs.
Envision Utah survey results: envisionutah.org/projects/your-utah-your-future/item/346-results
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