Could the Great Salt Lake Be the Next Owens Valley?

A new story from KSL 5 TV looks at the massive air quality issues in the Owens Valley of California and how the Wasatch Front could experience similar problems if Bear River Development is constructed.  The Owens Valley experienced some of the worst air pollution recorded in the U.S. after Los Angeles diverted water upstream of Owens Lake in a project comparable to proposed Bear River Development. Dust control measures have cost the L.A. ratepayers over $1 billion, accounting for 15% of the average monthly water bill.

Watch the whole story HERE.

On April 14, 2015 Salt Lake City experienced extremely high levels of PM 2.5 air pollution after experiencing 40 mph sustained winds with 60-70 mph gusts.  The high winds combined with the near record low levels of the Great Salt Lake pushed PM 2.5 levels to what the EPA classifies as “hazardous.”  If Bear River Development is constructed, lowered GSL levels could make these dust storms a more common occurrence, furthering the Wasatch Front’s air quality problems.

Are You Harvesting the Rain?

The Utah Rivers Council is excited to officially launch RainHarvest, a rainwater collection program created to engage homeowners and small businesses to use rainwater to reduce Utah’s nation-leading water use (per-person) and improve water quality of local streams, rivers and lakes. Rainwater harvesting is legal in Utah and now is the perfect time to start using this free, legal water at your home.

IMG_Single_Ivy_3998_grandeRainHarvest is modeled after the most successful programs in the U.S. which use one of the most user-friendly barrels on the market, the Ivy Rainbarrel.  For a limited time residents can pre-order highly discounted rain barrels at www.rainbarrelprogram.org/urc.  Barrels are $69 for all residents, with a special price of $40 for Murray and SL County residents – while supplies last (Retail price is $129).

Barrels will be ready for pick up on Saturday, May 9th at Murray Park from 10-2 PM. (If residents cannot make the pick up their order will be refunded in full.)  Volunteers will be on hand to teach residents all they need to know about rainwater harvesting.  3-4 barrels fit in the back seat of an average sedan and 10 barrels can fit in the back of a standard SUV.

Water Lobbyists Using this $20 / $33 Billion Wish List to Push SB 281

Utah water lobbyists are pushing a $20 / $33 billion wish list in an attempt to scare legislators into funding the Lake Powell Pipeline and Bear River Development.  The list is loaded with phony funding requests including $2.4 billion in projects already funded by local entities, 84 “Master Plans,” totaling $5.7 billion and 101 items listed as “General Needs” with no more explanation, for a total of $2.6 billion.   One “Master Plan” for Weber Basin Water is listed as costing $3 billion, but isn’t needed until the year 2100.

Click HERE to view the entire water wish list.

BREAKING: Help us Kill a New Bill to Fund Lake Powell Pipeline and Bear River Development

With less than two weeks left in the legislative session, a bill to fund America’s most destructive water projects has surfaced.  SB 281, by Sen. Stuart Adams, would move both Bear River Development and the Lake Powell Pipeline forward by creating a new taxpayer fund to pay for them.

The new fund would be used solely for these two destructive and enormously expensive river diversions.

Bear River Development is America’s largest proposed water diversion, and would divert the river immediately upstream of the Bear River Migratory Bird Refuge and the Great Salt Lake.  This disastrous diversion would lower the elevation of the entire Great Salt Lake several feet, creating toxic air pollution the dry lake bed.

The Lake Powell Pipeline is the largest proposed diversion in the Colorado River Basin, diverting the river immediately upstream of the Grand Canyon.  This $2 billion pipeline would pump as much water as 700,000 average Americans use in a year 2,000 feet uphill to water 200,000 St. George residents’ lawns.

Both projects are being proposed by the Utah Division of Water Resources, which is now being audited by the Legislative Auditor General.  This year-long audit is due out just weeks from now and is investigating how this agency routinely exaggerates future water needs to justify billions in spending for Bear River Development and the Lake Powell Pipeline.

Call and email your legislators NOW and tell them Vote No on SB 281.  Tell them no action should be taken on this bill until the Audit of Water Resources is released.  Why rush to give the Division of Water Resources a handout when this agency is currently being audited by the Legislative Auditor at the request of legislators and thousands of Utahns?

Find out who your legislators are now by clicking HERE.

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