A new series of reports published by the Utah Foundation detail how Utahns are paying for water in an arid state. The report shows that there are at least 308 public water suppliers in Utah and the fact that the population is expected to double over the next 40 years, the managing of this vital resource becomes even more important. On KVNU’s For the People program on Wednesday, Peter Reichard, of the Utah Foundation, talked about how this report was done.
“This is actually the result of a deep dive over many months looking at the ins and outs of all of the water providers across our state. As you mentioned, we do have 308 of them. Some of them are really quite small, so you can’t think about 308 equal size suppliers. But, obviously, there was a lot of research to, kind of, delve in and see how each of these, how they pay for their water,” he said.
During the recent legislative session, a Republican lawmaker commented about water rates, asking if they are too low. Reichard said their report doesn’t address that particular question.
“But I can tell you that there’s no doubt that you can go to other areas, areas that have a great abundance of water and their water rates will be much higher. Part of the reason for that, maybe in some of these cases, that they don’t have a property tax that they’re relying on. They’re relying completely on water rates. So, obviously, the less you rely on property taxes the more upper pressure that’s going to put on the rate side.”
You can download the entire water report at www.utahfoundation.org.
AUDIO: Jason Williams of KVNU’s For the People talks with Peter Reichard, president of Utah Foundation