The Sunday, Aug. 25, issue of the Standard-Examiner had an editorial criticizing Pineview Water Systems for lack of planning ("Pineview needs better planning") because Pineview issued a statement to its customers regarding the need to reduce their use of water. While it could be that Pineview needs to do better planning, the real problem is that we here in Utah have not faced the real issue that we live in the second-driest state in the nation and that we have a growing population with one of the highest per-capita water usage rates in the country, both of which put increasing demands on the water that is available for us to use. This state still has not gotten serious about water, either culinary or secondary, in terms of how to best meet our water needs in the future.
We need to be looking at such things as metering secondary water as opposed to a low flat rate typically paid for through people's taxes so the real cost is hidden. We need to price water at rates that encourage conservation as well as eliminating subsidies. We need to look at ways of using gray water which is sewage and runoff that has been treated just enough to make it usable as secondary water. And finally, we need to encourage xeriscaping, perhaps through tax rebates, to reduce people's desire to plant even more and more grass.
These things need to be done now instead of waiting until Pineview issues more ultimatums to their customers. We live in a desert and we need to start acting like we do with respect to our use of water.