The 2024 Utah Legislative Session is upon us! While we’re not holding our breath for miracles, the session is a great opportunity to shift the window of dialogue and possibility toward greater conservation and sustainable long-term management of water in Utah.
For Great Salt Lake, all eyes will be on appropriations. We’re hoping to see greater funding to empower the Great Salt Lake Trust to acquire water rights for the lake (we need roughly 500,000 – 1,000,000 acre-feet annually of additional water to the lake to reach the minimum level for a healthy long term lake over the next 30 years); to support increased efficiencies through the Agricultural Water Optimization Program; and to empower the Great Salt Lake Commissioner’s office following the release of the Great Salt Lake Strategic Plan, which we’ll dive into in the coming weeks.
Of course, we also need investments into monitoring and measurement infrastructure to ensure that any water saved through ongoing conservation and policy changes actually makes its way to Great Salt Lake. Encouragingly, this has been a primary focus for legislators so far –– with efforts to focus on reducing water waste at state-owned facilities and infrastructure like road medians. We are hoping for big, bold change. But small steps like removing useless turf are valuable too.
Below we have listed all the bills we are tracking this session. We will be providing concrete positions on all efforts in the coming days but we wanted to give you a look at what is on our radar and where we stand so far. Please follow us for in-depth analysis as the session continues. And, most importantly, let us know how you feel. We’d love to hear from you! Email email@example.com.
For those interested in engaging more deeply with the legislative session, join GBWN and our partners for Great Salt Lake Lobby Days every Thursday throughout the session. Each week, we’ll review the bills du jour, provide some hands-on lobbying training, and equip you to lobby your representatives. Timing and location varies slightly each week. Register below for details.