Cedar City — Last Tuesday, two local officials attended the Conservative Climate Forum at Southern Utah University to discuss climate impacts on business, water and policy.

Monsoon Storm Moves Towards Cedar City, Utah, July 31, 2022 | Photo Credit: Anne Basel, Cedar City News

Cedar City Councilman Tyler Melling and Central Iron County Water Conservancy District General Manager Paul Monroe joined two other panelists to discuss climate change in the Sherwin-Smith Student Center church auditorium.

Melling said one of the interests of the forum is the need for cities to consider the impact of weather and climate on infrastructure.

“Just recently, we had to adjust our stormwater policy to accommodate more intense, short-lived storms rather than mild, long-lasting storms,” he said. “This has different infrastructure needs that we need to consider as weather patterns change.”

Bob Inglis, Dr. Jackalin Grant, Tyler Melling, and Paul Monroe discuss climate change at Southern Utah University in Cedar City, Utah, September 13, 2022 Photo Credit: Alysha Lundgren, Cedar City News

The Utah Republican Party platform states that “the power to tax is also the power to rule,” Melling said. The party believes the best way to control the government is through tight control over taxes “imposed on the people.” The city avoids taxing residents by making them “pay water waste to those who waste it” through user fees.

Responding to students’ questions about preparing for the future, Melling said the city has made “substantial policy changes” on how it uses rainwater and water. This will have ripple effects on other decisions, such as how roads are built or how rain gardens are encouraged. Make cities greener and less heated while using less water.

Looking ahead, what makes Utah a great place to live may become less so due to changes in policies and weather patterns, which could impact tax rates, housing policies, and economic policies.

“Over the last 50 years or so, living in this area has become more and more attractive than anywhere else,” he said. “If this trend were to reverse, with frequent flooding and muddy water draining from basements and a reality in this part of the country, it would have ripple effects everywhere.”

File photo: Test wells pumping water at the Pine Valley Water Supply Project site, northwest of Cedar City, Utah | Date not specified | Photo courtesy of Cedar City News’ Central Iron County Water Conservancy District

Participants asked how climate change solutions could be a ‘win-win’ for both business and the environment. Melling worked with the Cedar City Area Chamber of Commerce to understand that climate change is “well down the list” and that more businesses are struggling with government “red tape.” said.

Businesses value predictability, and climate change could become a bigger problem as weather patterns become more erratic, he said.

Panelist Dr. Jacqualine Grant, Associate Professor in the Earth Sciences Division at SUU, said that while climate change discussions often focus on how solutions can hurt businesses, people are You can also look at it in terms of how you can use the impact of unemployment to create employment opportunities, he added.

“[It]is a different way of thinking about the problem, giving it a little more positive twist and making you think about how we can grow the economy and incorporate climate change solutions at the same time,” she said. Told.

Monroe said Iron and Beaver counties have a “substantial amount” of renewable energy sources, and the wind, solar and geothermal that they produce make Utah a “massive exporter” of renewable energy. said that he was able to become


File photo: Aerial view of Lake Kichapa Recharge Project in Iron County, Utah, 2021 | Photo courtesy of Cedar City News’ Central Iron County Water District

According to Monroe, the Central Iron County Water District is an organization tasked with ensuring adequate water availability, looking 50 years into the future.

He was asked by the audience to compare water scarcity due to current policy changes to the current situation.

Monroe said obtaining “resilient water resources” is key, and this includes creatively and diversifying the region’s water portfolio.

The Cedar Valley is primarily watered by snowmelt, but the amount of snow has decreased over the last 20 years. Instead, most moisture in southern Utah is received later in the year in “monsoon form.”

“While it has caused some problems with some of the infrastructures mentioned, it is also having a significant impact on our water sources and supplies,” he said.

Cedar Breaks watersheds are often filled with debris and contaminated with salt, so they must pass through sedimentation basins before they can be used, Monroe said.

FILE PHOTO: Cedar Breaks National Monument, Utah, August 30, 2022 | Photo Credit: Alysha Lundgren, St. George News

New infrastructure is being built to ensure cleaner effluents in areas where aquifers can recharge, Monroe said. Additionally, the district is committed to completing the Pine Valley Water Project, where water will be imported from the Northwest.

“And the science behind that valley is the recharge or most of the water coming back into the aquifer coming from summer monsoon storms,” ​​he said. Making it possible is again a big focus for us.”

For more information on the Conservative Climate Forum Panel, see Part 1 here. Click here for more information on the Central Iron County Water District.

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2022, all rights reserved.

Source link

By admin

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *