Creating an Oasis: Water Development and Funding in Utah


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. Traditionally, a significant portion of water infrastructure and development costs have been funded by taxes, both property and sales taxes. The monthly water bill from local public utilities reflects only a part of what Utahns are paying for water. Many citizens do not know the true costs associated with providing this basic necessity. Proponents of eliminating the property and sales tax subsidy on water argue that by doing so, Utahns would have a better understanding of the need for conservation. Opponents of this argument state that water is a public resource and in order to provide service to all, the current funding system is necessary.

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