Timothy Hawkes and Warren Petersen join Tom Williams to discuss the governors proposed 50 year water plan.
Quoting from the Recommended State Water Plan: Utah faces a daunting challenge. We have the distinction of being both one of the driest states in the nation and one of the fastest growing. At the convergence of those two realities is the challenge of providing water for a population that is projected to nearly double by 2060 while maintaining strong farms
and industries and healthy rivers, lakes, wetlands, and aquifers. This challenge is magnified by climate projections from the State Climatologist that show a significant decrease in Utah’s snowpack, which presently provides more annual water storage capacity than all of Utah’s human-made reservoirs combined. In 2013, Governor Gary R. Herbert invited a group of stakeholders with extensive backgrounds in various aspects of water and with a diverse set of perspectives to form the State Water Strategy Advisory Team.1 He tasked them to (1) solicit and evaluate potential water management strategies; (2) frame various water management options and the implications of those options for public feedback; and, (3) based on broad input, develop a set of recommended strategies and ideas to be considered as part of a 5O-year water plan. Despite the often-contentious nature of water policy debate, the Team engaged in earnest discussion and reached agreement on the set of critical issues and strategy recommendations contained in this document, that if studied and advanced will help ensure a vibrant and sustainable water future. This document represents the culmination of a collaborative four-year effort that solicited input from thousands of Utahns through public meetings, written comments, an online survey, and a randomsample poll. The result of these efforts, as published here, lays the foundation for much needed water policy dialogue and collaborative decision-making.