Top of Utahns have an opportunity to have their ideas and suggestions on future water use passed on to Utah Gov. Gary Herbert. On Thursday at 7 p.m., there will be a town hall meeting in the Layton City Chambers, 437 N. Wasatch Drive.
Utah water managers, concerned about drought-like conditions, want ideas from Utahns about how to manage water in what is both the second-driest and fastest-growing state. The ideas gathered will be considered in the governor's office.
If you can't attend the meeting, there is still an opportunity to provide your ideas. They can be submitted to www.utahswater.org. The Layton town hall meeting is one of several that are scheduled across the state. At Thursday's meeting, there will be a public comment session and a breakout session with several specific areas of focus.
The main focus of the town hall meetings are how Utah can -- in the future -- deal with meeting water and irrigation needs of its residents and businesses through the years ahead. The issue of future water needs are likely paramount in many minds.
In June, the Top of Utah received virtually no rain, and last week the state -- as well as the West -- sizzled with 100-plus degree temperatures. Stream flows are lower than usual, soil moisture is at historic lows, and water managers are worried that reservoirs will end this summer well below 50 percent capacity.
While the town hall meeting is not focused on current heat or even drought concerns, what's discussed will include how to conserve water in an environment that includes weather like we have experienced this summer.
It's likely that in a generation, Utahns will have made shifts and changes related to water needs that seem odd today. Perhaps, grass lawns will have largely disappeared. In any event, attending town hall meetings such as Thursday's in Layton provide an opportunity for a citizen to have a voice in policy development.