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Welcome to the event schedule and directory for the 13th Annual Salt Lake County Watershed Symposium, November 20-21, 2019. Free and open to all, the Symposium encourages a comprehensive review of the current state of our watershed while creating learning and networking opportunities for a broad array of stakeholders. Sessions cover a broad range of topics on water quality and watershed issues with local, regional, and national relevance. Hosted by Salt Lake County Watershed Planning & Restoration.

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Thursday, November 21 • 2:30pm - 3:00pm
Bear River Development Debt Impacts Upon Wasatch Front Residents

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Bear River Development Debt Impacts Upon Wasatch Front Residents

Summary:
How would Bear River Development be Repaid by ratepayers of the Wasatch Front?

Full Abstract:
For the last 20 years, an ongoing conversation about proposed the Bear River Development project has garnered the attention of the public, the media, elected officials, industry leaders and conservationists. Although much attention has focused on the environmental impacts of this project, relatively little focus has been given to the financial repercussions of this proposal upon Wasatch Front ratepayers and taxpayers. This Workshop offers an overview of proposed Bear River Development and explores a recently-commissioned economic analysis by the mineral company U.S. Magnesium, exploring the financial repercussions of proposed Bear River Development upon residents of the Wasatch Front. Although increasing water rates might at first be thought of as a panacea for raising the revenues needed to pay for proposed Bear River Development, the annual debt payments for the project exceed existing water revenues. This means that the project will require significant increases in water rates which will likely result in major decreases in water use. This raises questions about the need for Bear River water for future population growth along the Wasatch Front. This research demonstrates that the Bear River Development would require significant increases in revenues from both the ratepayers and taxpayers of the Wasatch Front, in turn forcing the cities receiving Bear River water to significantly raise their own revenues to pay for this project water. Urban water rate increases of this magnitude may make agricultural-to-urban water sales attractive to both farmers and urban water districts, further negating the Bear River Development’s value for future residents.

Speakers
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Zachary Frankel

Executive Director, Utah Rivers Council
Zachary Frankel is the founder and Executive Director of the Utah Rivers Council. Zach started the organization in 1995 after he received his B.S. in Biology at the University of Utah. Zach has been working on water education and conservation across the American West for over 25 years... Read More →
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Gabriel Lozada

Professor of Economics, Economics Dept., Univ. of Utah
Dr. Gabriel Lozada is a professor at the University of Utah Department of Economics. Dr. Lozada is a microeconomist who specializes in dynamic economic theory, particularly concerning natural resources such as minerals and fisheries, as well as questions of long-term economic sustainability... Read More →
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Dan Tuttle

Government Affairs Manager, U.S. Magnesium
Dan Tuttle is the Government Affairs Manager for U.S. Magnesium where he leads the companies intergovernmental activities. Prior to this work Dan was elected to the House of Representatives representing Magna, Kearns, and West Jordan cities at the Utah Legislature from 1985 to 1997... Read More →



Attendees (34)