HBO satirical show host targets St. George for wasting water in ‘middle of the desert’ – St George News
Lake Powell water levels hit historic lows this year, date unspecified | Photo by Rick Bowmer, The Associated Press, St. George News
ST. GEORGE- St. George is in the national spotlight as one of the places that wastes the most water during the current drought in the West. The city was cited for its lack of water conservation during a news satire television program last week with John Oliver on HBO Monday.
“Utah residents use the most water of any western state. And nowhere is that truer than St. George, which has become one of the fastest growing metropolitan areas in the country, with some of the highest water use and consumption,” Oliver said. . “Not only does St. George have super cheap water rates, but their county, which is in the desert, has at least a dozen golf courses…they’re about the dumbest thing possible to put on the table.” middle of the desert other than Burning Man. .”
Oliver mentioned that Utah recently passed new laws encouraging conservation. But leaders have also sought a billion-dollar pipeline to bring in what has been called “additional excess water” from Lake Powell.
Oliver pointed out that anyone who has looked at this lake would know that excess water does not exist. The pipeline seems extremely irresponsible of Utah, Oliver said.
He said the lake was more than 50 feet higher last year than it is today. The popular destination for houseboats is at an all-time low amid climate change fueled mega-drought engulfing western United States.
In addition, the production of hydroelectricity would be stopped if water levels at Glen Canyon Dam Lake, drop another 32 feet, according to a report from the CNN website.
In St. George, a temporary ban on new car washes and recreational facilities that used large amounts of water daily was passed earlier this year. The city council and staff are revising the city’s water conservation and landscaping ordinances to match the water conservation recommendations of the Washington County Water Conservation District. The ban gives a county town government six months to fix the problem that made the original ban necessary. Prohibition is authorized by state law.
Oliver also pointed out that not all western states, not just Utah, can continue to use water as they have in the past. He said states need to start working together to reduce their collective water use.
“Experts suggest it might be helpful to stop using the word drought, which seems temporary,” Oliver said. “Instead, use the term ‘aridification’ as a better way to describe what could be a long-term drawing of the American West. We need to encourage water conservation and efficiency.
Aridification is the gradual change of an area from a wetter climate to a drier climate, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary.
But Oliver’s biggest concern is the “bombshell” the government has dropped on the Colorado River states. He said those states have 60 days to create a contingency plan to stop using between 2 million and 4 million acre-feet of water next year. That’s a huge amount of water to stop consuming. If that doesn’t happen, the agency will use its emergency power to make the cuts itself.
“It’s a drastic decision, but we’re in a dire situation,” Oliver said. “So let’s hope these states get to work in the next two months and come up with a decent plan, because we desperately need to prepare for a much drier future in the American West.”
See Oliver make his point in the YouTube video below.
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