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Governor Huntsman Optimistic About Protecting Vital Water Resources in West Desert

Press Release

Location: Salt Lake City, UT

Governor Huntsman Optimistic About Protecting Vital Water Resources in West Desert

Utah Governor Jon Huntsman is optimistic that the strategies being pursued by the state and the counties will protect vital water resources in Utah's West Desert after meetings held Wednesday to discuss the policy and strategy to protect Utah's water interests.

"As a State and as individual communities, we are absolutely resolved to aggressively protect our water interests," Governor Huntsman said. "Water in the Snake Valley is the lifeblood of the
agricultural community and the economic system of the West. We will not stand aside and let our groundwater be mined creating intensified drought problems affecting our state's ecosystem, the region's air quality and our citizens' quality of life."

The West Desert tour Wednesday began with a meeting in Delta with the commissioners from Beaver, Juab, Millard and Tooele counties as well as officials from local municipalities. During the meeting, Mike Styler, executive director of the Department of Natural Resources, led a discussion on water law and proposed strategies moving forward.

The Governor also toured Fish Springs National Wildlife Refuge, an area of 10,000 acres of wetland in the middle of the West Desert. This area would be threatened if Southern Nevada Water Authority's Snake Valley Water Pipeline plan moves forward.

He finished his tour in Callao with a town meeting of citizens, field scientists and members of the Goshute Tribe. Each group has a unique tie to the land and a different perspective of the impact that the water situation would have on their lives.

"I appreciate the time of everyone we met with Wednesday and ask for their continued commitment to this cause as we move aggressively forward," Governor Huntsman said. "The State understands the plight of these individual communities and we are committed to work with them to ensure our water rights are preserved."

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