A recent investigative report from the nonprofit newsroom ProPublica examines the ways Utah’s powerful water lobby has worked to undermine water conservation measures proposed by state lawmakers. Utah is the fastest-growing and second-driest state in the nation, but it lags behind its neighbors in instituting meaningful reforms to conserve water, even while it pursues expensive projects to move water from one place to another — over objections from environmentalists and from other states in the Colorado River Basin.
State water officials argue that conservation alone isn’t enough to safeguard the future. But is the data they’re basing that claim on reliable? And do Utah’s so-called “water buffaloes” — the water conservancy districts that deliver water to towns and cities — have an outsized influence on the legislature?
Today on “In the Hive,” a deep dive into the ProPublica report with its author.
Mark Olalde, Investigative Environment Reporter with ProPublica