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Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:37 AM

As Great Salt Lake Dries Up, UT Political Interests Fight Tooth And Nail To Save Sacred, Holy Lawns

Utah policymakers billed the 2022 legislative session as the “year of water.” Gov. Spencer Cox signed into law more than 15 measures related to water conservation, heralding “generational” progress as the West’s megadrought continues well into its third decade. Those pieces of legislation allow farmers to earn money by sending their water downstream to shrinking lakes, require water meters for landscaping, appropriate $40 million to protect the Great Salt Lake and more. But perhaps more telling were proposals that lawmakers carved up or voted down.

Legislators in the country’s fastest-growing and second-driest state rejected a bill meant to address leaky pipes. New laws aimed at mandating low-flow plumbing both in state facilities and new homes had to be scaled back to win passage. And regulations on Utah’s lush green lawns remained largely off-limits, as interest groups stalled or rewrote bills targeting grass. A ProPublica investigation last year found that Utah’s water policy was largely controlled by a group of water districts and allied special interest organizations and politicians who prioritized building new water projects over conservation.

EDIT

The Utah League of Cities and Towns has opposed turf bills for years. In 2016, then-Sen. Scott Jenkins, a Republican who was upset that a local ordinance compelled him to plant a lawn around his plumbing wholesale warehouse in Orem, filed a bill to curb such mandates. Jenkins told ProPublica that the league doomed the bill. “Considering the fact that we’re hurting for water right now, especially in Utah and in the West, that’s just so dumb to do,” Jenkins said. “They ask us to not turn our faucets on or shut them off when we’re brushing our teeth, but they’re just flat out wasting water here.”

The league’s position statement on that year’s legislation noted that Jenkins did not first run the bill past a group consisting of the league and others representing towns, real estate and development interests. The bill died on the Senate floor.

EDIT

https://www.propublica.org/article/utah-officials-called-it-the-year-of-water-special-interests-still-resist-conservation

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Reply As Great Salt Lake Dries Up, UT Political Interests Fight Tooth And Nail To Save Sacred, Holy Lawns (Original post)
hatrack Jun 23 OP
CentralMass Jun 23 #1
2naSalit Jun 23 #2
mopinko Jun 23 #3
DBoon Jun 23 #4
mopinko Jun 23 #5

Response to hatrack (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:41 AM

1. Nature is going to give them a wake-up soon.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 08:49 AM

2. Fucking idiots...

They think gawd is gonna kill us all, except them, and the sooner the better.

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Response to hatrack (Original post)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 09:35 AM

3. i wish municipalities would give tax credits for natural landscaping,

instead of passing out tickets for 'weeds'.
i own 3 properties in chi, and only one has a water meter. my properties are wild places, much loved by most of my neighbors. but i get at least one warning from the city every damn year.
fortunately, the super of streets and san, the dept in charge of this bullshit, and i have a good relationship. hard fought, but solid now.

rewilding is how we save ourselves here. 1/3 of the planet left to nature.
doin my part, but getting tired of taking the shit.

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Response to mopinko (Reply #3)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 10:45 AM

4. Some do. Just not in Utah apparently

Los Angeles County for example: https://dpw.lacounty.gov/wwd/web/Conservation/CashForGrass.aspx

The Waterworks Districts offer customers a rebate for removing water-inefficient grass with drought-tolerant landscaping. Please be advised that the rebate is not available until after completion of the drought conversion project. This means customers will not receive a rebate until after the project is completed and post-inspected. The Cash for Grass program has been a successful program and has removed over 2,000,000 square feet of inefficient turf and replaced it with drought-tolerant, efficient landscaping. If you have any questions, please contact our Water Conservation Hotline at (626) 300-3313.

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Response to DBoon (Reply #4)

Thu Jun 23, 2022, 11:35 AM

5. if i could take a credit of even $1, i'd save 1/4 on my tax bill.

i have zero ornamental grass.

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