The committee forwarded the wording of a proposed resolution of support for the idea at a meeting on Feb. 14.
“Continuing to perpetuate the impression that abundant groundwater resources are available for unchecked development is misleading and a disservice to valley residents,” states one paragraph of the proposed resolution.
The resolution, if adopted by the council as currently worded, would formally request that the Utah Division of Water Rights cease issuing new water-right allocations out of the aquifer, at least until completion of a groundwater management plan is developed.
Short of that, the city would ask DWR to strictly limit that amount of water rights issued out of the aquifer until the same time.
“Proactively addressing adequate water resources is fundamental to our community’s financial stability and livability,” the draft resolution states.
The plan is one prong of a several-pronged approach to making sure the area has enough water for decades to come.
Another prong is a process by which DWR will align and correlate documented water rights with the actual amount of water being used. The process is called adjudication, and it’s an attempt to correct a rampant problem throughout the state: On paper, more water is allowed for use than actually exists.
That doesn’t mean we are out of water, but it’s not certain how much water can be allowed for new development in the area.
The adjudication process is slated to begin within a few weeks.
But while the water over-allocation issue is a broadly recognized one and hardly (if at all) disputed, the committee used the opportunity to take its own shots at views on climate change.
The resolution uses that term — climate change — three times.
“Does it need to be said more than once?” asked committee member Kara Dohrenwend. She felt once was enough.
But other members of the committee pushed back.Committee member Jeremy Lynch said he felt “normalizing” the term was important. He told The Times-Independent later that he felt it was important to insist on using the terminology, rather than giving in to negative political imputations.
“There has been a deliberate attempt, and deliberate actions taken to eliminate certain terms and certain connotations from the dialogue,” Lynch said.
Committee member Kyle Bailey noted that even such a conservative politician as Gov. Gary Herbert had used the term “climate change” while decrying its negative impacts on the state’s ski-tourism industry.