As the Great Salt Lake has hit record-low elevations during the last two years, the Utah legislature will focus on incentivizing Utahns to conserve water rather than approaching the drought and water conservations with “sticks.”
“I’m confident through the approaches that we’ve been using that we don’t need sticks,” said House Speaker Brad Wilson during a news conference on Monday. “People will continue to do the right thing for the right reasons.”
According to Wilson, Utahns on the Wasatch Front have already conserved nearly 10 billion gallons of water through voluntary measures.
Senate President Stuart Adams announced he has introduced a bill to collaborate with Western states on water development, while Wilson announced legislation to create a unified authority overseeing the management of the Great Salt Lake.
There will also be increased funding for already existing initiatives, said lawmakers, such as turf buyback programs and agricultural water optimization.
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“We will fix our region’s water problems by investing in long-term solutions, not just applying band-aids,” Adams said.
The news conference was to introduce what lawmakers are calling “Water Week,” saying lawmakers will focus on water legislation during this week’s efforts of the 2023 general session.