The Utah Rivers Council has launched a “Save 2% for Utah” campaign demanding more ambitious water conservation strategies from the Utah Division of Water Resources (DWR). DWR plans to decrease per-person water use by only 0.5% per year from a 2015 baseline through 2065.
During that same time span Utah’s population is expected to grow to over 6 million. The math simply doesn’t work. Right now Utah uses more water per person than other Colorado River States that have set far more ambitious conservation goals.
It is irresponsible to predict water needs based on current practices that encourage people to squander water. Nonetheless, the DWR “2020 Water for Utah” plan calls for expensive desperation measures to avoid conservation including cloud-seeding for weather modification, and construction of large-scale environmentally damaging water projects such as the Lake Powell Pipeline and Bear River water diversion.
A scheme to move Green River water from the Uinta Basin to the Wasatch Front (supported by HB 328 passed by the 2020 Utah Legislature) would put huge new stresses on Colorado River watersheds. A 2% per year conservation goal would be in line with neighboring states and help eliminate the need for massive water development projects and help protect Utah’s rivers
This is an excerpt from our April EnviroNews column. View the full article here.