Utah lawmakers will vote on Thursday to end a law that requires the state to conserve water for everyone by 2025.
The Utah Legislature has been debating a measure that would remove the state from the Water Resources Conservation and Development Act (WRDA), which mandates a statewide water conservation program.
The bill has drawn strong opposition from conservationists, who say it’s a backdoor move to limit water use.
“It’s really an example of a bad idea,” said Steve Johnson, director of the Salt Lake County Water Conservation Board.
“You take away one of the big pillars of our economy, one of our largest employers, one that’s going to give us a significant boost in the future.”
The bill was proposed by Rep. Mike Lee, R-Utah, who said he wants to take the WRDA away because it doesn’t provide enough water conservation.
The legislation has been in the works for more than two years and was the focus of a recent House hearing on the state’s water resources.
But it’s not clear how long the bill will take to pass.
The Senate is expected to vote on the bill Thursday.
The House voted to end the WRCA last month.
But Utah’s Republican-controlled Legislature, led by Rep, Mike Lee.
has been moving toward a bipartisan approach.
The measure, sponsored by Rep., was sponsored by Sen., Mike Lee and Rep., Randy Weber.
They introduced a companion bill in the Utah Senate.
“We’ve heard from a lot of our constituents who say they are worried about the lack of water conservation in Utah,” said Utah Sen., Dan Taylor.
“But if the bill is approved, they will have to do that themselves.”
A bill that could eliminate the state water law has also been introduced in the state legislature.
It would require that the water in Utah be used for irrigation, and the state would get a rebate for that.
That bill, however, has not yet been introduced by the House.
Rep., Randy Weber, said the bill would help the state make up for water that has been lost due to drought.
“I think that it’s one of those bills that we’ll see how it goes,” he said.
“If it passes the Senate and gets to the House, it will be something we look at.”