The Worth of Water | Hits & Misses | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

The Worth of Water 

Also: E-Fail, Spite Makes Right

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The Worth of Water
At least someone is thinking about the effects of climate change. Call him Gov. Gary Herbert. His goal: to conserve water by 25 percent by 2025. That’s not an easy task in a state that’s surrounded by water hogs, supporting a burgeoning population and promoting businesses that need water. Surprising were comments in white papers submitted by a team of experts: “The state needs to stop encouraging more industry, businesses and people to come to the state that will strain or deplete the water supply,” and “Population growth is a problem. Slow the growth.” Meanwhile, an Earth Interactions study warned that every increase of a degree Fahrenheit translates into a 3.8 percent decrease in water of the watersheds feeding Salt Lake City. Bottom line: Don’t take water for granted. The message needs to get out. Green River would be a good place to start.

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Well, darn. Someone just mistakenly deleted Attorney General John Swallow’s electronic records, or maybe it was the state’s fault for changing e-mail systems. And, does anyone remember Rose Mary Woods? During the Nixon probe in 1974, Woods fessed up to erasing part of an audio tape—by accident, of course. But in this time, when the NSA seems to be able to gather and know everything we write in e-mails or on social media, it’s a little hard to understand how anyone could lose information like a bit of investigative flotsam. Or how anyone could be so cavalier as to ignore the importance of Swallow’s communications. But it happened. Too bad you can’t subpoena the NSA for Swallow’s e-mails.

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Spite Makes Right
You can understand how hard it is to buck the intrepid Tea Partiers who managed to shut down the government and nearly cause a global meltdown. But Gov. Gary Herbert needs to think less of them and more of his constituents when it comes to expanding Medicaid. Sure, saying no would be yet another slap in the face to Obamacare, which was predicated on the notion that Medicaid would pick up the health-care stragglers. The plus side is the feds are paying for the expansion until 2020, when Utah would have to pay 10 percent. And then, of course, there’s the human aspect. Research increasingly shows that most Americans will experience poverty at some time. The Affordable Care Act is far from perfect, but if Congress does its job, it will start fixing what’s broken. In Utah, waiting for the ACA to fail is a failed strategy itself.

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About The Author

Katharine Biele

Katharine Biele

A City Weekly contributor since 1992, Biele is the informed voice behind our Hits & Misses and Citizen Revolt columns. When not writing, you can catch her working to empower voters and defend democracy alongside the League of Women Voters.

More by Katharine Biele

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