It's ridiculous. We tax productive activity so we can spend tens of
billions of dollars on these kinds of projects, and then the only thing
we're willing to do about water conservation is put up a few billboards
saying "gee, it'd be nice if you conserved water!"Hint:
if you want people to conserve water, raise the prices. Using taxes on
productive activities to subsidize huge lawns and golf courses in the middle of
the desert is absolutely absurd.The cost of water projects should be
borne by those using the water. When there's such a tremendous disconnect
between the true social cost of something and the price that's paid by
those using it, the result is a tremendous waste of resources. This is an
economic, social, and environmental disaster and will only get worse as we
persist in totally divorcing costs from prices.
A huge problem with potential water shortage is the fact that there are many
cities that require x amount of green space. This is one of the irresopnsible
cites rules/laws that are out dated and must be changed. Zero scape should be
the norm not wasting water on grass in a state that is a desert.
I agree we need to keep these systems up and they obviously need to be expanded
and probably upsized regularly to reach new housing developments. I think
conservation is definitely the thing to do, but it's like putting energy
efficient bulbs and appliances in my home and running a fan in the window at
night instead of the AC - in spite of doing these sorts of things we still have
new power plants and power lines being built. As far as cutting back on
landscaping, I don't see many people biting. I have a neighbor that rocked
his park strip, but the real environmentalist in the neighborhood has a big lot
full of huge trees with lawn underneath. All that green surface area sucks up
all kinds of water but it does keep the place cool. The public will dictate
through their actions and through the market what lot sizes and landscaping will
be, but even so you've got to add to the systems to serve new developments
and keep them maintained. Our lives are so much better because of our water and
sewer systems - I've lived abroad with marginal water and sewer systems
Think water is a problem today?Keep in mind that shale oil
production requires about 3 barrels of water to product 1 barrel of oil.
I was living in SLC when the state decided it was reasonable to spend millions
and millions, back when that was a lot of money, to pump water out of the Great
Salt Lake to reduce its many feet of flooding by a few inches. About the same
time there was a moratorium on new construction in the valley due to inadequate
water service capacity. Its 'bout time that pump boondoggle is parted out
'n sold off to fund a desalination plant, killing two birds with one stone.
Heck, might be less expensive, and more productive, to build a pipeline to tap
the Columbia river at a point just before it dumps into the Pacific than to try
to extract virtually non-existent moisture from the desert, by throwing money at
Joe,Please quote a non-biased source for that statistic!
And you'll ask the federal government to pay for it. Utah needs to decide
what it wants to be.
Bruce, here you go. I have no agenda. Facts are important. I dont cherry pick
info. RAND corporation"Water consumption in producing oil
shale is about 3 barrels per barrel of oil."National Oil Shale
Association"Direct consumptive water requirements range from 1 to 3
barrels of water per barrel of shale oil produced"Department of
Energy"Initial estimates indicate that enough water will be available
to support oil shale industry development in the Western states. However,
variability of supply during low flow years may cause conflicts among water
Lets cite a recent study done by UC Berkeley Scientists. The Study concluded
(and a summary was published in the Des News) that over the next 50 years if
weather (precipitation trends continue there will not be adequate water supplies
to support the millions of people in the Arid West. These "surplus"
millions will have to relocate to somewhere else. Someplace like East of the
Mississippi. Some regions in Utah are addressing this issue now. The Washington
County Water Authority (think Saint George)has a project under construction to
tap Lake Powell via a pipeline and deliver it to the new Sand Hollow Reservoir
by Hurricane. The project is scheduled to be completed and on-line in 2020. A
couple months ago there was an article in a Utah paper of plans to tap the
Mississippi to deliver water to northern Utah. There is an old axiom in the
Water Business which is "Water follows the money". The Citizens of Utah
need to be educated on water issues as they live in a semi-desert.
@OJF64The word is xeriscape, not "zero scape". I'm
not trying to be mean, I'm just trying to educate.
Joe, I'm afraid he won't be listening.
BYU Track Star,Did I read your comment correctly? Are you stating
that the Lake Powell pipeline for Washington County is a way to address the
issue of inadequate water supply? If so, that is certainly not the case. The
Lake Powell pipeline takes water from the Colorado River, which is one of the
most uncertain, over-allocated, and drought-prone water supplies in the entire
West. The declining precipitation trend you cite already has and will continue
to reduce Colorado River flows. The Lake Powell pipeline does not create water
out of thin air; all it does is drain a reservoir that is not being adequately
refilled by the precipitation.
"Or what happens if your system does not provide water to take care of
landscaping as well as enough water to cook or take care of personal sanitation?
What happens then?"I was in Alamosa Colorado when our water
supply was cut off due to Salmonella contamination. We were very lucky to have
a responsive and able city government to help address the issue. We probably
won't be able to have cities if the water issues aren't addressed.
There are much worse things than Salmonella that thrive in untreated,
unregulated water, and that's assuming the water hasn't run out
entirely. There are also technologies that can be developed to
produce water that could be researched to scale them up.
@ BYU Track Star - the Washington County Water Conservancy District does NOT
have a project underway to move water from Lake Powell to St. George. They have
an idea to do so, but they've been unable or unwilling to come up either
with an actual plan, or any explanation of where the funds to build it would
come from. They can't even agree on what number they want to use for the
estimated cost - it's been anywhere from $450 million to $2.1 billion.
They've offered nothing else but platitudes and generalities, and the
longer they've done that (it's been close to 10 years now) the less
residents think it's a legitimate proposal. Originally, three
counties (Washington, Iron, and Kane) were to participate, but earlier this year
Iron, having crunched all the available numbers, opted out. Kane was never on
the hook for much, since the pipeline would have to go through Kane County
anyway and was just paying to tap the line as it passes.