Utah Wants to Hear from You: Public Ideas on Utah's Water Future Accepted Until August 31
Logan was the last stop for a series of Town Hall meetings soliciting public input on Utah’s Water Future. Jennifer Pemberton and Matt Jensen from UPR's Five Billion Gallons program were there to get to know all the stakeholders in Utah's Water Future.
The combination of being the second driest state in the nation and a rapidly growing population makes it difficult to predict what Utah’s Water Future will look like. At the beginning of a long process to outline a comprehensive plan for the state, Governor Herbert sent some of the state’s top water managers out to eight communities in the state this summer to listen to what the public has to say.
In an introductory video, the Governor asks for “innovative solutions to our water needs that don’t break the bank or dry up our streams.” The result is over 16 hours of audio and the copious notes from at least six note takers at each meeting – a record of citizen ideas – some practical, some outlandish – of how to plan for Utah’s water future.
The tour concluded at the auditorium of Mount Logan Middle School. An independent moderator kept track of time as citizens went up to the podium for 3 minute speeches: city water managers, dairymen, economists, single mothers, landscape architects, and even a 16-year-old proponent of rain barrels.
The focus was on public input and the organizers and moderator did not answer any questions or respond to proposals. They just let citizens have the floor.
The comments from these meetings will be summarized in the coming weeks and submitted to the Governor’s office for review. At a Water Summit in Provo in October, citizens might hear faint echoes of their ideas when the Governor reveals his 50 year plan for Utah’s Water.
Public comment is being accepted online until August 31, 2013 at utahswater.org.