Amendment D: Municipal Water Resources Amendments

"Whiskey is for drinking; water is for fighting over." - possibly Mark Twain, but taken as gospel.

Overarchingly, there doesn't really appear to be anything broken with the State Constitution as it pertains to this issue so -- if it ain't broke, why fix it? Further, you should be reminded that this amendment came from the legislature's trio of attacks on extraterritorial jurisdiction, driven by people who are trying to get water to otherwise undevelopable lots in your watershed canyons. That said —

To better understand this Utah Constitutional Amendment, it will help to first understand its primary purpose and function. Simply, it helps to ensure that water owned by municipalities cannot be privatized, or monetized, say, hypothetically, if a municipality is short on cash because it is in the middle of a pandemic, and multiple state of emergencies. The biggest change here is that the amendment removes the term "waterworks" from the things cities could privatize, but continues to prohibit privatization of "water rights or sources of water". 

Further, it would require the municipalities to enact an ordinance to set a service area boundary, if it supplies water outside its jurisdictional boundaries, which about 70 municipalities in the state do. So, should this pass, you can expect SLC, for example, to have a public process to set these boundaries to inform creation of an ordinance. 

It also requires for contracts to be drafted between the municipality and the customer. In Salt Lake County, or in other contracts with Salt Lake City, these contracts are already in existence.

In sum, not much really changes. There's a false narrative being perpetuated that the city could take away your water. In conversations with people who understand water in the state, they are really perplexed as to why this would happen, because the distribution of water is a symbiotic relationship. Customers need water and cities need the customers to maintain the conveyance system, provide and treat the water.

For some, the cautionary principle of unintended consequences when tweaking a portion of our State's Constitution, when it really hasn't been explained effectively why it is broken, harkening back to the opening lines,  with a handful of water speculators driving the change, may give some pause.

All that said, a lot of work went into this and most (but not all) water experts in different arena's feel it does no harm. 

Amendment E: It seems unnecessary and might even thwart the future application of best science in wildlife management and conservation. It would amend the Utah Constitution to guarantee the right of Utah citizens to hunt and fish in perpetuity. It would also make hunting and fishing the “preferred method of managing and controlling wildlife.” We are not against hunting and believe there would never be a successful movement to outlaw hunting here in Utah. We are concerned with hunting being put in an amendment to our constitution as the preferred method of managing wildlife.  

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