A Look at Water Conditions in the Second-Driest State

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Utah is the second-driest state in the nation and home to over 2.6 million people. When Utah experiences drought conditions, water becomes a high-priority issue for Utah voters. Utah’s water supply and quality ranked as the seventh most important concern in the 2008 Utah Priorities Survey. To help voters and candidates understand the issue better, this brief provides information on drought conditions, precipitation, water storage, water usage, and water quality in Utah.

The 2008 Utah Priorities Survey: The Top Issues and Concerns of Utah Voters for the 2008 Election

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Throughout this election year, Utah Foundation will work to provide information, analysis, and public dialogue on the issues that matter most to you as you consider the future of Utah. The project began with a survey conducted by Dan Jones and Associates to understand which issues are of greatest concern to voters. The results of this survey are now available here by clicking the links below. The survey found that the top 10 issues for … Continued

Utah’s Water Situation

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

A Deseret Morning News article from August 8, 2004 stated that, based on flow data of the Colorado River, the current drought is considered the worst in 500 years. This statistic is alarming, but while the Colorado River is an important part of Utah’s overall landscape, residents in the most populous parts of the state utilize very little of the river’s water. The flow rates of the Colorado have a greater impact downstream in Nevada … Continued

Utah Water Use & Quality

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Every five years, the U.S. Geological Survey releases data on water usage by state. The data detail the amount of water used for agriculture, municipal and industrial uses (M&I- public or private water utility providers), mining, private industrial wells and thermoelectric generation. The data also provide a look at the sources of water within the state, either surface sources, such as lakes, reservoirs and rivers or ground sources — wells and springs.

Dealing with Growth in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

The rapid population growth that occurred in Utah during the 1990s is still expected to continue for the next thirty years. The challenges presented by the significant growth underlie many of the other top issues facing this state. Education, jobs, water supply, health care, crime, higher education, environment, and transportation are all greatly impacted by population growth. This brief will seek to explain how growth patterns will impact some of the top issues identified by … Continued

Creating an Oasis, Part Two: Water Consumption, Pricing and Conservation in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Since Utah Foundation released the first part of this report in February, the outlook on water availability for the summer months has continued to look grim. Snow pack levels within the state continue to be below historical averages; ranging from 31 percent for the feeders of the Virgin River to 87 percent for those feeding into the Weber and Ogden Rivers as well as those feeding into the Provo and Jordan Rivers and Utah Lake.

Creating an Oasis: Water Development and Funding in Utah

Written by: Stephen Hershey Kroes

Water is a topic of much concern to policy makers and the general public in Utah. It has been since the earliest days of settlement in the Salt Lake valley and will continue to be as Utah’s population grows and droughts make water resources scarce. There also have been calls for reform regarding how water development is funded in Utah.