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Warning the Salt Lake area against a regional water grab, Utah North-Mission 2000 has denounced any attempt by the state to trade high-quality mountain water from northern Utah for lower-elevation water of lesser quality.

The non-profit strategic planning group last week unanimously approved a statement by its land and water resources task force that discourages any exchange of water of unequal quality with other areas of the state.Larry Anderson, director of the Utah Division of Water Resources, said he has never heard of Mission 2000 and he declined to comment on its statement.

"We could not support the exchange of high-elevation water in the upper Weber Basin drainage for low-elevation water from the Willard Bay reservoir," the statement said.

Mission 2000 generally supports a Utah Division of Water Resources draft of a state water plan for future water supplies but finds the state's plans for northern Utah water users "vague at best," said Cyrus McKell, chairman of Mission 2000's physical resources council.

The plan needed "a little more meat on it" about retaining rights to eastern-bench water for northern Utah consumers, he said.

Ivan Flint, general manager of the Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, said he agrees with Mission 2000's position.

"We don't want to ever trade upstream water and suggest people in our district use lower-quality water," he said.

The state's water plan does not specifically say it wants to transport northern Utah's higher-elevation water to the Salt Lake City area while residents of the north switch to water from the Bear River, Flint said.

But "it's an obvious situation that could happen . . . (the statement) just cautions someone not to do it," he said.