Utah ‘behind the times’ and needs watchdog to guard interest in Colorado River, official says

in People

SALT LAKE CITY — Utah House Speaker Brad Wilson says the state needs to do everything it can to protect its share of water in the drought-challenged Colorado River, and the creation of a new entity would foster that protection.

“Sixty percent of the water used in Utah comes from the Colorado River,” the Republican from Kaysville told members of the House Democratic Caucus on Tuesday.

He and Senate President Stuart Adams, R-Layton, are sponsors of the Colorado River Amendments, HB297, which would set up the Colorado River Authority of Utah with $9 million in one-time money and $600,000 of ongoing money.

When Wilson was asked if other states in the Colorado River basin have similar entities to safeguard their interests in the water, he said they do, and they are better funded.

“We have kind of been behind the times. In its simplest form this creates the Colorado River Authority, something we can rely on for 100 years or more,” he said. “It is not about taking water away from other states. It is about protecting Utah’s share.”

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