Who Gets the Bill? Water Finance and Fairness in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah ranks among both the nation’s driest and fastest growing states. Water governance approaches that ensure sufficiency of affordable, quality water into the future is a major concern. Utah Foundation’s series of water reports seeks to fully explore the issue of how we pay for that water. Issues of water fairness primarily revolve around the fact that revenues generated from property taxes and revenues generated from water rates rely on two different groups. One group includes all … Continued

Drop by Drop: Water Costs and Conservation in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Utah Foundation’s series of water reports explores Utah’s water financing and its current and future impacts. This report examines the differing viewpoints in the context of conservation. It first outlines how water pricing can encourage conservation. It details the current effects of rates on water use. It then explores conservation in terms of fixed fees and variable rates. Lastly, the report examines incentives for water providers to encourage conservation. Most water providers embrace the value … Continued

High and Dry: Water Supply, Management and Funding in Utah

Written by: Christopher Collard

Among the most basic – and contentious – components of water management is how we pay for water, with property taxes versus user fees at the heart of the debate. Utah Foundation’s new Paying for Water Series will examine the key areas of concern related to this debate, including conservation, fairness and practical considerations. The series builds on Utah Foundation’s in-depth research into the many dozens of water providers serving residents of the state. The … Continued

Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah

Written by: Sam Brucker

Building a Better Beehive: Land Use Decision Making, Fiscal Sustainability and Quality of Life in Utah explores the fiscal challenges that accompany growth, both in the short-term and in the long-term. The report also draws from Utah Foundation’s 2018 Quality of Life survey to demonstrate what Utahns value most in their communities, and which issues concern them most. Building from the fiscal challenges and quality of life concerns, the report identifies five strategic categories to … Continued

Utah Foundation Quality of Life Survey: Measuring Utahns’ Perceptions of their Communities, Personal Lives

Written by: Shawn Teigen

In collaboration with Intermountain Healthcare, Utah Foundation occasionally surveys Utahns in an effort to understand how they feel about both their community and their personal quality of life. KEY FINDINGS OF THIS REPORT Despite improvements in the economy, Utahns’ perceptions of their community quality of life has declined since 2013 from a score of 73 to 70. The availability of good jobs is the only aspect on Utah Foundation’s Community Quality of Life Index that … Continued

Utah’s Coal Counties Part II: Coal Mines, Jobs, and Economic Benefit

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Utah’s economic benefit from coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation is substantial, estimated at nearly three billion dollars. Most of Utah’s coal is produced from mines in a few rural counties. Most of the coal extracted is used to generate electricity at power plants in the state. While coal mining and coal-fueled electricity generation only provide direct employment to about 2,500 Utahns, this equates to over 5% of the 50,000 nonfarm jobs in seven rural … Continued

Utah’s Coal Counties Part I: Coal Energy, Production, and the Future

Written by: Shawn Teigen

Most coal consumption in the United States is for electricity generation. However, coal-fueled electricity’s share of the total has been decreasing. This is due in large part to the availability of low-cost natural gas, stringent environmental regulations that affect coal-fueled power plants, and favorable tax treatment for renewable technologies. Coal-fueled power plants have been closing and others are reducing their total output. As a result, coal production is also decreasing. Utah is one of only six states that gets … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #2: Air Quality

Written by: Shawn Teigen

While air quality and the environment were a single topic in past Utah Priorities Project surveys, they were separated in 2016 based on preliminary survey feedback. Due in part to this change, air quality rose from seventh in 2012 (when combined with the environment) to the second most important issue to Utahns in 2016. Utah Voters’ Concern Over two-thirds of Utahns gave air quality a high level of concern (68% rated it a 4 or 5 on … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #6: Water Supply and Quality

Written by: Christopher Collard

Water has bounced back onto the Utah Priorities Project top 10 list after dropping to eleventh place in 2010 and 2012. In this year’s project survey, 61% of respondents indicated concern (a 4 or 5 on a 5-point scale) for water supply and quality. SURVEY RESULTS The bump in the rankings could be due to increased media attention on water issues in 2015 and 2016 at both the regional and local level. The drought in … Continued

Utah Priorities 2016, Issue #10: Environment

Written by: Christopher Collard

The topic environmental issues, including air quality has made the Utah Priorities Project top ten list every gubernatorial election over the past decade, although it has never risen above seventh place. In 2016, air quality and the environment were separated into two topics based on preliminary survey results.   STRICTER ENVIRONMENTAL LAWS A majority (53%) of Utahns are quite concerned about the environment, rating their level of concern as a four or a fie on a fie-point scale.1 This … Continued