We attended the public hearing on June 15 on the proposal to build a dam and a pipeline to divert water from the Bear River to the Salt Lake County area. For a couple of hours we heard dozens of people give short talks explaining how building the dam would destroy area farms and ranches and force scores of families off their land, and, by raising the water table, ruin good farm land below the dam. One speaker discussed the danger to people below the dam who could be flooded if the dam broke. One speaker told us that building the dam would obliterate Shoshone Indian burial grounds.
If even a fraction of the lawns in Utah were converted to xeriscaping (the use of beautiful native plants and landscaping adapted to the dry climate) there would be no need to even consider diverting Bear River water to Salt Lake County.After the hearing, I observed that the Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District, which sponsored the meeting, was not setting a good example for conservation of water in Utah, the second driest state in the nation. Their spacious building is surrounded by an extremely wide expanse of well-manicured and well-watered lawns suitable for a king's castle. In addition, there was a water-wasting pool and fountain by the front door, which was not in operation at this time.
The Jordan Valley Water Conservancy District should take the word "Conservancy" out of their name because they are setting the worst example of conservation in Utah by maintaining these unneeded, inappropriate palatial green grounds.
Ted J. Parkinson
Salt Lake City