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Monday, July 22, 2024 7:57 AM

More is Required To Solve Southern Utah’s Water Challenges

– By Andrew Kramer –

The St. George metro area is one of the fastest-growing regions in the country. Explosive population growth combined with the impacts of climate change, extended mega-drought, and dwindling water supplies mandate that we fully optimize our water management practices, especially here in the dry desert country of Washington County.

The Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) is making laudable progress in managing water supplies while improving conservation efforts, and has plans to do more. Measures such as recycling wastewater for secondary (irrigation) use, the turf buy-back program, Advanced Metering Infrastructure which allows monitoring and early leak detection, adoption of Water Efficiency Standards for M&I use (municipal, residential and industrial) and many other initiatives are essential for improving water efficiency. 


Wednesday, March 27, 2024 6:36 PM

As St George grows, where will the water come from?

As St. George grows, where will its water come from?

Stunning red rock terrain, warm weather, and low housing prices are drawing thousands of remote workers and retirees to St. George, making the southwest Utah city among the fastest-growing metro areas in the nation. The greater Washington County population of 180,000 is now poised to more than double by 2050.

St. George is also thirsty. It has 11 golf courses within its 78 square mile borders, and its residents use twice the amount of water per person per day than the national average. Only recently did the county begin implementing more aggressive water conservation efforts and rules banning grass in new retail and commercial developments.

Local officials now say the area will run out of water within a decade.


Monday, February 19, 2024 3:50 PM

Why vote for Chuck Goode

WHY VOTE FOR CHUCK GOODE (Register at VOTE.UTAH.GOV)
I want to give back to my community by preserving the quality of life that we have. I will strive for:
• a safe environment to raise our kids
• freedom to control our own lives
• preparedness for disasters before they occur
• facing our water crisis head-on with drastic action if needed
• a decrease in our taxes
• reprioritizing our county budget
• providing more county services to rural areas
• more county resources to help farmers and ranchers
• more resources to support sustainable real estate development
• more master planned communities with affordable housing

My Values are freedom, hard work, self-reliance, community service and innovation. I learned these values while growing up on a farm as a poor kid who studied hard to overcome poverty. After graduation, I joined the Army and then, I worked my way through college and got a job in research. As my career advanced, I joined Morton Thiokol working on the Space Shuttle contract and later I worked at Johnson Space Center in Houston TX during the construction of the International Space Station. My wife, Jean, and I moved to Washington County over 20 years ago where we took care of her aging parents, and I ran a small farm in Tocqueville. We moved to St George in 2018.

I noticed a problem with childhood poverty and led the effort to start a Community Soup Kitchen at Grace Episcopal Church. This effort involved the coordination of many county departments like getting Health Department approval, getting a SunTran bus stop, coordinating police security, and getting over 20 church volunteer groups to prepare and serve the meals. At first only one meal per week and then a home-cooked meal five days a week. As I look into the big brown eyes of a child who receives a much-needed meal, I recall the gratitude that I felt when I was that child. This soup kitchen is now a part of our model homeless program at Switchpoint Community Resource Center. 

We have arrived at a major turning point in our economy. From pioneer days, we have worked to distribute water to where it is needed with canals and reservoirs. Now, water is becoming unavailable to distribute. Zachary Renstrom of the Washington County Water Conservancy has predicted that, without a long-term solution, we have only 10-12 years of water availability. In the Cedar Valley, the land is sinking due to overuse of the aquifer water. (See Joan Meiners, The Water Tap in The Spectrum, July 31, 2022). We just drilled 2 wells over 1,000 feet deep into the St George aquifer.
 
On August 16, 2022, the Department of Interior announced the Colorado River had reached a Tier 2 shortage, triggering additional water cuts.  In June, the Bureau of Reclamation gave the seven Colorado River Basin states – Arizona, California, Colorado, New Mexico, Nevada, Utah and Wyoming – until August 15th to reach a voluntary agreement on how to share the reduced water allocation of 2-to-4-million-acre feet.  The deadline has passed with no agreement reached. Therefore, effective January 2023.  Arizona faces a 21 percent reduction, Nevada by 8 percent and Mexico by 7%.

I have researched our situation as western aridification has worsened over this extended drought. I have found that we have the technology to solve this problem. Using innovation, we can avoid all the costly lawsuits by other states in the Colorado basin. We can avoid the tremendous cost of a centralized water delivery system or an expensive pipeline. We can accomplish this while providing our communities with clean drinking water in a secure decentralized system. We may even reduce our property taxes.
In the next 4 years, we can conserve 80% of our water by changing the way we nurture our soil and the way we build our homes. See my website for details at CHUCKGOODE.COM


Tuesday, January 9, 2024 1:53 AM

Why Choose Me?

I have not been grandfathered into an elite network of lobbyists. I cannot help you to negotiate deals to manage our county's resources and growth issues. I can use technical and scientific expertise to help you actually solve problems. We do not need another plan. We need action quickly to save our economy and our quality of life in Washington County. Choose me to provide the missing leadership to address our water issues before it is too late.

Chuck Goode for Washington County Commission, I am asking for your trust and your vote on November 5th. Thank you!


Committee to Elect Chuck Goode
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