LOGAN — Utah has won the dubious distinction of being the 2nd driest state in the country a few different times, so water continues to be a hot commodity. Recently, the Janet Quinney Lawson Institute for Land, Water & Air (ILWA) held their annual run-off conference that looks at water in Utah from Bear Lake to the Colorado River and where it intersects with Utah’s water supplies and also explores the situation with our Bear River region and more.

This year’s water conference featured Governor Spencer Cox who attended and spoke at the conference.

On KVNU’s For the People program on Monday, Anna McEntire, managing director, said they can’t take full credit for the conference as it was there before ILWA existed.

“We worked with the conference organizers, now that we were here, to be able to bring in some new partnerships and one of them that just happened while we were getting ready in the organization stages. As we have one faculty member, Beth Nielson, she is at the Utah Water Research Laboratory at Utah State and also with the Cache Water District. She brought to us and said we’ve got two really important Northern Utah water meetings at the same time,” she explained.

Those two conferences are the Spring Run-off conference, which is usually a university event, and the Northern Utah Water Users Conference, which is designed more for water users such as ag producers in the valley. McEntire said the two groups have a lot of the same interests.

“We have lots of the same people that we want to hear from, and so, it was Beth who came to us and said, ‘Listen, I think that this should be a combined conference.’

“And so, it was such a fun partnership we’ve worked with. Nate Daugs, who’s the manager of the Cache Water District, and Erin Rivers who’s the organizer on the USU side and worked to figure out a conference that worked both for our USU researchers and for our water producers in Northern Utah.”

She said it helped them bring in people who they otherwise may not have gotten, as they knew they would be able to reach both of those audiences.

“We had one of our researchers there, a masters student, and her whole masters thesis is on understanding what the attitudes are of ag producers in northern Utah. So, she was able to set up a table there and talk with people, understand their opinions, and use that as a basis for some more of her own understanding, her work.”

McEntire said they also had a whole session on researchers who were doing work on irrigation studies and discussing flow dynamics of rivers in Northern Utah, which are a lot more complicated than they are given credit for.

Source link