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Water conservation action requires thought, process

Sun Advocate publisher

Most people who run a business know there are two ways to make it profitable. One is to sell more of the product or service that the business produces and the other way is to cut the costs of producing that product.

Simple, it seems. But in reality it is not.

The same is true of the dilemma we are facing when it comes to water supplies in eastern Utah. There is one major difference though, we can't make more of it or sell something to bring more of it in.

This year's snowpack was the worst in a long time. We thought we had come out of a seven year drought in the last couple of snow seasons, but obviously the past two winters, being wet were an aboration. The drought is still on and it looks like it could be worse than before.

There is only so much water in our drainage. Sure some people would like to take some of that away and divert it to another drainage basin for use. That could be a longterm problem, but what we need to deal with is the only realism we now face; there is only so much of the wet stuff and we must cut our use to get through the next year.

Or maybe longer.

The outlook for water in our part of the country isn't good. Many people don't believe in global warming, so a recent report that says we will be affected greatly by that in terms of yearly lower moisture totals probably will fall on many deaf ears. But a recent report by the State of Utah (Drought in Utah; Learning from the Past, Preparing for the Future) on the long term outlook for water and drought shows that the droughts we survived in the late 20th century were shorter than droughts from previous centuries. It appears that the natural rotation of droughts had actually let up some during the last 50 years. The report says they will probably return to their average of over 10 years long.

It's time for us to think about what we are going to do. Almost everyone wishes our economic base would improve. The problem is that many businesses that would provide a better base require water, with some needing large amounts of it.

We need to think about how we use water and what we can do to use less of it, in all aspects of life from homes to agriculture.

And we don't have a lot of time to debate the issue.

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