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Utah Business

The Future Depends on Us

As Utah’s largest and longest-standing business association, the Salt Lake Chamber has watched the state’s population and economy grow over the last few decades. Today, Utah is home to more than three million residents and more than 1.6 million jobs, supporting an economy that produces an excess of $165 billion dollars in gross domestic product every year. The state has consistently ranked as one of the nation’s best places to live, work, start a business, raise a family, retire, visit, and ski. 

But this didn’t just happen. For generations, Utah residents have planned and prepared for the state’s growing population and economy. Water districts, road departments, school districts, healthcare facilities, and more were created so that you and I can enjoy a good quality of life.

Throughout Utah, there is water when we turn on the tap. There are roads and public transportation options that allow us to travel throughout the state. Schools, higher educational facilities, cultural centers, and houses of worship are common amenities in every community. Abundant healthcare options with specialty services are available statewide. And there is a long list of outdoor recreational opportunities that attract visitors from all over the world. Utah really does have it all.

It is the Chamber’s desire that Utah maintains its legacy as a great place to live, work, and recreate. For that reason, we publicly and proudly support the efforts of the many organizations that dedicate their time to planning and preparing for the next generation of Utah residents, many of whom will be our kids and grandkids. We all have an obligation to provide for the next generation as our forefathers have done for us. This requires investments in water infrastructure, transportation, educational facilities, and more.

Today, we have billions of dollars in projects on the books. The Lake Powell Pipeline and Bear River Development will ensure our growing population has water. The expansion of the Salt Lake City International Airport accompanied by nearly 100 projects currently underway by the Utah Department of Transportation will ensure residents and visitors can safely travel to, from, and within our state. New schools from Logan to St. George are taking shape.

As Utah residents, we need to consider these projects investments in our future because they are our future. And the future depends on us.

Comments (1)

  • Erik

    The development of the Lake Powell Pipeline and the Bear River diversion project are irresponsible and not in the best interest of future generations. I agree with Miller that the future depends on us; however planning requires a more nuanced approach to address water resources. The Colorado River is already extremely stressed by water demands. The level of Lake Powell has been lowering every year. As environmental change continues to lower snow pack in the Rockies (the headwaters of the Colorado) we can expect the level of the reservoir to continue to decrease. Years from now there will not be enough water to divert for the pipeline and the state and local communities will have invested millions in vain.

    The Bear River diversion will lower the Great Salt Lake, which has been shrinking now for years. As it decreases more lake bed is exposed allowing wind to pick up particulate matter worsening the air quality problems along the Wasatch Front. Not only does it present health concerns for residents, it will disrupt the delicate lake ecosystems which are habitat for a vast treasure of migratory birds and plant species which should be preserved for the enjoyment and use of future generations.

    Utah Business, and each of us, needs to critically ask if these projects are really in the best interest of future generations of Utahns. Will an empty pipeline with a high price tag, worsened air quality, and loss of ecological resources really be a better Utah? Other options are available. Conservation could easily meet the water needs of Utah communities which are home to the most wasteful water users in the United States. Educating the public, encouraging smart growth, and pushing for more conservation efforts should be the focus of Utah Business and the State.

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