Skip to content Skip to footer

Wrapping Up the 2024 Utah Legislative Session + an Update from Steptoe Valley

We don’t know how else to say it, but the Utah Legislature is a beast of its own. As we approach the final hours of the 2024 session, it’s fair to say that this session is a disappointment for those who want to see a more balanced approach to water management. As we mentioned last week, the legislature’s commitment to conservation is dwarfed by its desire for new dams, pipelines, and bureaucracy geared for increased water appropriation and exportation.  

Our efforts fell short to block funding for a study that could benefit the Cedar City Pipeline and a new reservoir on a Colorado River tributary running through Zion National Park, but it wasn’t for a lack of trying.  

The budget projections early in the legislative session were much lower than what the finance wonks were able to dig up when it really mattered. Then they made it rain for the water exportation cabal.  

Read more about what happened in the SL Tribune’s report on the funding for the new dam. And stay connected with us to keep up to date on the Cedar City Pipeline.  

In other bill updates, Sen. President Adams’ SB 211 to support a Utah Water Agent who will explore importation opportunities from other states. The bill also codifies major water districts’ ability to have more control over public dollars –– with less public oversight. The bill also lacks basic government transparency protections that are standard for other publicly funded offices and positions. 

Rep. Casey Snider’s HB 280, which was reduced to a pair of studies related to infrastructure planning and funding, is awaiting a fiscal note and is poised to pass. This bill is a step in the wrong direction for those who want more transparency and accountability for publicly funded water projects.  

Also expected to pass is Snider’s HB 453 –– a bill giving more leeway to mine the Great Salt Lake even when low-water levels exist.  

This year’s takeaway is that Utah leaders are doubling down on the idea that they will find water somewhere else to bolster dwindling supplies and continue business as usual, and we need a more strategic approach to counter their narrative.

Now that session is over, we’re ready to take a deep breath and focus our energy on what comes next. We know we need to invest in relationships and a collaborative strategy for conservation.  

If you have any questions related to the session or specific bills, please don’t hesitate to reach out to  

NEPA 101: How it Affects You and How You Can Effect Change


Wondering how you can help better protect our public lands and waters? Join us on March 13th at 6 PM PT for NEPA 101: How it Affects You and How You Can Effect Change. 

With our partners the Center for Biological Diversity, the Owens Valley Water Commission, and Friends of the Inyo, we’ll be discussing the National Environmental Policy Act, it’s implications for our local ecosystems and communities, and how you can engage in the public comment process to make your voice heard and protect our precious places.

Have You Stepped Up for Steptoe?


In the coming weeks, we will be bringing you more information about our work to keep water where it belongs in the heart of Eastern Nevada’s Steptoe Valley.  

The White Pine Pumped Storage project will harm existing water rights, impair the public interest, and jeopardize the future water supplies for rural communities in the heart of the Great Basin. Steptoe Valley is not far from Great Basin National Park and other water-scare regions in the high desert. The water table in Steptoe Valley is already experiencing declines. Giving water to developers for an unsustainable project is no way to protect our most precious resource.  

Sign the petition today.

Leave a comment

Great Basin Water Network © 2020. All Rights Reserved. Design by Most Media

Subscribe For Updates!