Agricultural water use is 70% of all Utah's water usage. Fully half of that water is used for animal agriculture, that is, growing animal feed such as alfalfa. Animal agriculture only contributes 3% to Utah's economy. We need to change what crops we grow. You can claim that this has become a way of life and that you have a right to use this water which may be correct, but it is not sustainable. We have come to the end of that profitable practice. Many fields are now laying fallow due to a lack of water. Alternatives to alfalfa are fall rye, wheat, barley and oats. Other options include triticale (both spring and fall types), sorghum, and Sudan grass.
Even though Alfalfa supports the beef and dairy industries in Utah and China, this is not the best crop choice for growing in a desert. We have drained most of our river basins and the not-so-Great Salt Lake. This crop is just not sustainable.
We need to change how we grow our crops. We can get better crops using less water. We can lower our cost by going completely NO TILL, DRIP IRRIGATION, NO SYNTHETIC FERTILIZER, NO CHEMICAL INSECTICIDE, and ALL ORGANIC. Save money and get greater crop production with these changes to how we grow crops.