Utah Lake proposal would disrupt water rights

The latest in a laundry list of reasons to oppose the scheme to dredge Utah Lake is its disruption of local water rights. A Salt Lake Tribune article reports that the proposal to dredge the lake and create artificial islands would block access to a pump that provides water to Salt Lake County. Currently, water managers trade Utah Lake water for cleaner snowmelt from local canyons, like Parley’s. Irrigators ultimately hold the rights to the snowmelt though and could deny water if the exchange with Utah Lake water is not provided. 

Water managers fear that the disruption of the lake would drop the level below the pump’s accessibility point. The article is riddled with quotes from experts on the matter including an engineer, water district officials and lawyers, and pump operators. We need to listen to the concerns of these experts that oppose the project, rather than listening to real estate companies trying to make a buck off of public resources. Experts are skeptical of Lake Restoration Solutions’ (LRS) proposal as they throw out claims without scientific backing and little to no transparency. 

Despite false claims by the developers, Utah Lake is on the road to recovery thanks to hundreds of science-based restoration projects undertaken over the past 30 years. This was a point addressed by an assistant professor at BYU before he was slapped with a lawsuit from LRS. Again, this is a real expert whose voice should be amplified, not silenced on a matter that would alter the lives and health of communities along the Wasatch Front. Building artificial islands and creating a city of up to 500,000 people at the cost of public resources and clean water is not a smart or sustainable way to develop.  

Read the Salt Lake Tribune article here.