Governor's Position on Water

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES

  • When our pioneer ancestors made the desert blossom as a rose, they understood they could not do it without water. What was true then is also true for us today.
  • Water is the lifeblood of Utah.
  • A lack of water or poor quality water increases health care costs, discourages tourists and businesses from coming to our state, and provides people with a negative perception of Utah.
  • Ensuring the quality and quantity of Utah's water is critically important to our health, economy and quality of life.

2015 PUBLIC POLICY PRIORITIES

Develop water funding policies and mechanisms that ensure:

  • Utah has a sufficient, safe, and reliable water supply to meet the appropriate needs of a growing population -- one that balances residential, economic development, recreation, agricultural, and environmental uses;
  • limited water resources are being used wisely and beneficially and an appropriate alignment exists between the cost of water and the use of water;
  • the water quality of our lakes, rivers and streams is protected to sustain their beneficial uses;
  • the watersheds in our forests and rangelands that are so critical to our water supply are protected; and
  • the State of Utah maintains an appropriate role that is fiscally prudent and sustainable.

RECENT ACCOMPLISHMENTS

  • Concerned by drought conditions caused by an abnormally dry winter, the governor issued an executive order instituting water conservation practices for all state agencies in Utah.
  • Worked with the Utah Legislature and stakeholders across a broad spectrum to maintain the quality and quantity of our existing water sources, reduce water usage by 25 percent by 2025, and find new sources of water.
  • The governor is developing a 50-year water strategy plan to advance conservation practices across the state, and has directed the Governor's Office of Management and Budget to develop recommendations for long-term water financing.
  • Invested more than $15 million in the Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (W.R.I.) since 2005 and leveraged more than $100 million in partner contributions.
  • The Utah Watershed Restoration Initiative (W.R.I.) has restored the health of over one million acres of critical watersheds and rangeland over the past decade, including:
    • Over 473,000 acres damaged by wildfire,
    • Another 550,000 acres treated to improve forage, increase water yield and turn back invasive species.