State Begrudgingly Hands Over Water Use Figures to the URC

P: E. P. Kosmicki

Six months after the URC submitted our GRAMA request for the water data used to justify $5 billion in spending to the public and lawmakers, the Division of Water Resources has finally provided us with this basic information. The agency has been using this data to promote two of the country’s largest and most destructive proposed river diversions, the Bear River Water Grab and the Lake Powell Pipeline.

The Division was ordered to provide this data by the State Records Committee after we appealed our case in person in March. In a scathing Sunday editorial, the Salt Lake Tribune remarked, “Seeing just how sloppy these reports are helps to explain why the DWR didn’t want anyone to see them.” Even with unreliable data, the Division continues to stubbornly push for spending billions in disastrous river diversions.

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The Salt Lake Tribune noted, “More than half of the data contained errors when reported to state water officials.” Check out a stinging article from Emma Penrod of the Salt Lake Tribune here.

It has been two years since a searing 2015 Legislative Audit found the Division was grossly miscalculating and inflating future water needs to decision-makers to promote costly and damaging water projects. We look forward to carefully analyzing this water use data and we will keep you updated on our fight for transparency from this shadowy government agency.

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