Clyde Snow

Ripple Effect 05: Bang for Your Buck

by | May 27, 2020

Utah Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force – A discussion with Rep. Tim Hawkes and Jeff DenBleyker of Jacobs Engineering on the formation, purpose, and practices of the Task Force. Highlights include why focusing on agricultural water efficiencies is critical to solving Utah’s water growing water demand and how to make those practices benefit local producers.



Brian Lebrecht, President of Clyde Snow & Sessions 0:01
This podcast is brought to you by the law firm of Clyde Snow and Sessions, based in Salt Lake City with offices in Oregon and California. For over 65 years Clyde Snow has represented clients throughout the West. Clyde Snow: Serious About Solutions.

Emily Lewis , Host 0:21
Hello, and welcome to Ripple Effect, a podcast putting water into context. I’m Emily Lewis, your host and I’m a water attorney here in Salt Lake City, Utah practicing creative solutions to today’s and tomorrow’s water problems. Welcome to the conversation.

Hello, and welcome to Ripple Effect episode five. I have with me today, two very intelligent and articulate gentlemen, Representative Tim Hawkes and Jeff DenBlyker here to talk about the Agricultural Water Optimization Task Force. I wanted to have these two here today because I think that this is really important, this taskforce is really doing some very important work here in the state. And they have been heavily involved in both the creation of the taskforce and overseeing its efforts to date. And so we kind of want to talk about why this is a useful thing for you to do, and some of the activities that they have going on. So, Jeff, would you mind giving a little background about who you are kind of what you do and how you are involved with the task force?

Jeff DenBleyker, Guest 1:31
Yeah, I’m originally from the Midwest. I lived in Iowa and Michigan, and grew up around farms. And playing on them as a kid and working there as a teenager. I moved to Utah in 1996, as a water resources engineer, and had been working on a wide variety of water challenges here in Utah, largely around water supply, as well as water quality. And I think over the last 10 years, it was becoming more and more apparent to me just how important agriculture is both in both of those areas, in terms of the water that’s needed to support agriculture, the water that’s used by them, as well as the water quality, or the intersection with water quality in our watersheds. And so here, a couple years ago, in 2018, I had the opportunity to help get involved with the task force. And just initially helping them try to frame the their objectives, research questions and come up with a plan to how to try to tackle this big question.

Emily Lewis 2:49
Awesome, great. And Representative Hawkes, would you give a little background about yourself, kind of how you were involved with water, and then you know how you became associated with the project to date,

Tim Hawkes, Guest 3:00
I’m sure, you could say that I fell into water. I’m an attorney by training, I was born in Brigham City, but then went moved east and went to law school back east, and practiced at a big firm. And again, they had no real notion of natural resource law or anything like it. In 2004. I did very much at Green Acres move and left Washington DC and move back to Utah to work for Trout Unlimited. I’ve always loved fly fishing. And I tried to find a job that would would pay me to fish and it kind of sort of worked out. So that really put me in a space of learning water law and policy principally because I was part of a program where we were, there were lawyers across the west that were looking for innovative ways to put water back in stream for trout and salmon across the west. And so I learned a lot about water law and policy. And I started working with producers and groups like the Utah Farm Bureau really on different innovations. So in stream flow was one of the very first things I was working on and went around the West looking at different strategies that people were using. So all of that just kind of paved the way gave me that kind of background six or seven years ago, I ran for the legislature and was elected to the Utah house. And it was my engagement really in water law and policy that kind of renewed my interest in politics. And then once I got back, once I got into the legislature because I had some background in water, it just sort of fell to me to run a lot of water related legislation, because I’m familiar with this space and kind of understand it a little bit. So I do run a lot of water related bills, including the bill in 2018 that set up this Water Optimization Task Force.

Emily Lewis 4:42
Yeah, I always love hearing how people get involved in water as a field. You know, it always comes back to some visceral experience, you know, fishing or boating or you know, playing. So, great. I like to talk a little bit about why you know, in driving this bill to start you started with an agricultural Water Optimization Task Force. And why was this originally the impetus in the chosen area of study?

Tim Hawkes 5:10
So two, there were two reasons principally. One is that this bill really came right out of the State Water strategy, which was a four year effort that we pulled together, maybe 40 subject matter experts around the state governor convened this group to sort of answer the critical questions and sort of say, what are the decisions that Utah can make today, that will make for a brighter water future? Particularly when we think about a state that’s the second driest in the nation, but very rapidly growing, looking to double its population in the next 30 or 40 years. You know, what on earth can we do today? One of the key recommendations on how to do a lot of recommendations, quite frankly, had to do with water and optimizing the way that we use water. The reason for that is pretty clear. And that’s that about 82% of the water that we divert out of natural systems for human use goes to agriculture. And so the volumes that we’re talking about are significant. So if we’re looking for additional water supplies, for more people who are going to move here, we have to look at agriculture. And we have to find ways to stretch those existing supply so that we can sustain those agricultural uses, even as we use water to meet other beneficial uses and other needs. So a lot of people have recognized for a long time that if we’re going to look seriously about conservation in the state of Utah, water conservation in the State of Utah, we have to look at agricultural optimization, we have to find solutions that work for our producers, the folks that own and control those water supplies right now.

Emily Lewis 6:40
Awesome. So kind of like, what’s our biggest kind of bang for the buck?

Tim Hawkes 6:43

Emily Lewis 6:43
Because, you know, like reading the legislation, too. And, being the water dorks we are, that’s what we do. I was kind of taken aback and a little bit surprised, it’s been a little while since I’ve kind of really thought critically about kind of what the tasks of this taskforce were intended to be. But I mean, you guys talk about barriers, you know, methods and technologies and opportunities to improve quantification, science, measuring at, you know, gains at a basic level. So this was really kind of very much a, to me, it reads as a very kind of big scale picture question to, you know, was it intended to kind of be that way as well?

Tim Hawkes 7:23
Yeah, I mean, we don’t we don’t know the answers and then starting, we didn’t know the answers. I’m not sure we still know the answers. But we wanted to set up a process that at least could help us identify that. And so it is pretty broad, big picture is pretty ambitious. But we wanted to know what the opportunities were. We wanted to know what the obstacles were like, what sort of resistance might be out there. And there was an understanding all along that if we came up with solutions that didn’t work for the agricultural sector, they wouldn’t work at all. So there’s this idea. And it’s really a great thing about Utah, I think it’s reflected in a lot of the ways that we look at problems in water in Utah’s that we have very much a kind of a collaborative approach, let’s work together, it doesn’t have to be a zero sum game. Let’s try to find ways that we can work with this shared resource in a way that doesn’t – it’s not taking from one person to give to another but creating value for existing users in ways that support innovation.

Emily Lewis 8:18
Yeah. So people want to opt in, you know, creative solutions that people want to opt into.

Tim Hawkes 8:22
Yep. Voluntary solutions.

Emily Lewis 8:24

Tim Hawkes 8:25
Align the financial incentives, encourage the innovation. And that’s the kind of that’s the flavor of what we wanted to get done.

Emily Lewis 8:30
Okay, awesome. So this kind of is a good segue into talking about kind of like, what specifically the task force is kind of tasked to do, and then how they’re how they’re kind of working their way through their mission. And so, Jeff, if you wouldn’t mind, would you kind of just give us a little bit of a primer about how you got involved in the task force and kind of what your role is, with the group?

Jeff DenBleyker 8:54
Sure, I was asked to come in and help the task force at the end of 2018. They had initiated their meetings, I believe, the middle of 2018. And, but one of the biggest challenges that they had was trying to get their arms around this really big question, a very complicated issue with, you know, a great goals that they wanted to achieve, but how do we get our arms around that and try to distill that into some specific work that could be done and where they could direct the investments And so we looked at the legislation carefully and try to really distill it down to what the core objectives were. And it really came down to two things. One was we want to optimize agricultural water supply and use and secondly, we want to quantify our water, agricultural water use at the basin level. And as we do that, we want to make sure that we’re maintaining and increasing ag production so that we can incentivize, you know, these practices as we try to optimize our water supplies. And so we work through a number of questions we brainstormed challenges that the folks on the taskforce saw, I also had other stakeholders who came to these meetings, and to really try to prioritize what areas of research that they wanted to, to look into. And, really two areas that that we focused on were one was looking at advanced agricultural technology and implementation practices, you know, what can we learn from areas around the United States, but also the world in terms of technology that’s available? You know, agricultural practices that are that that they can be implemented here in Utah, what makes sense for Utah? And then secondly, really looking at how we can quantify our water supply and demand. And in a way that we get the right information to not just water managers, but information that’s useful for the water users, so that they can optimize their own operations.

Emily Lewis 11:16
Awesome. And so you guys have done that. My understanding is that you you guys have done that through a series of grants. Correct. And you have several, like actual on the ground proposals, correct?

Jeff DenBleyker 11:27
Yeah, the legislation identified or provided $1.3 million in funding to the task force. And so as we develop the research plan, that was our budget that we work with, and so we’ve identified projects, there’s a number of different contractors, universities who are still working on projects, we have projects that will keep going, probably through next year, just to try to provide the information to answer the questions that that we posed, so that we can provide recommendations back to the legislature as what to do.

Emily Lewis 12:09
So, I think this is such an interesting topic. And so I think it’s an interesting topic, because I totally agree with Representative Hawkes said earlier in the interview, where like, this is where our energy focus should be spent, you know, what I mean? Like, this is kind of like 80% of our water, or roughly so is in this agricultural sector, if we’re really going to wrestle with the complex demands that are coming towards Utah, this is like a key component of what we need to be looking at. But I think for the average water user, you know, actually conceptualizing what this means is very difficult. It’s very easy to say, oh, agricultural efficiency, or agricultural conservation, you know, like, how do we break it down? The concepts and thoughts into ways that like, you think that we were communicating the value of what we’re trying to do? Because for me, an example would be like, I think we always need to tell these stories starting with an actual person an actual operation talking about what they would actually do and how that gets you the benefit of, quote, unquote, finding more water to reallocate because isn’t that kind of essentially what we’re trying to do with all this?

Tim Hawkes 13:20
Yeah, for sure, you know, I think about it helps me to look through the lens and think through the lens of specific technologies as well. So I’ll give you a good example. You know, we know that pivot systems are, you know, good in the sense that they typically divert less out of the system, but they’re terrible for evaporative losses. So because that typically, if the sprinkler heads are up high, you just have these massive evaporative losses when you do that. It takes a lot of water to get a little down to the roots. You lower those heads, you see an efficiency gain. If you take those heads, and you put a mobile drip system on like a dragon drip is what they call it, but it’s basically like a hose that can be dragged around in the pivot circle, then you can cut your evaporative losses, massively cut those evaporative losses very efficient in terms of delivering water to the plant. So somebody could probably use a 10th of the water to irrigate the same acreage. But there are real problems associated with that technology. You know, one is cost. It’s extremely expensive to put in, you know, we allocated 1.3 million, that might do like one project if it was solely devoted to that. And the other things and this is just stuff I heard anecdotally, but you can imagine, if you’re in a windy area, and you have these, these lines that sort of dragged behind something when the plants are really small and the wind blows, what are they gonna do it acts like a flail just how

Emily Lewis 14:51
I didn’t – That makes total sense. That’s terrible. That’s the opposite of what you want to happen.

Tim Hawkes 14:59
Once the plants up to certain height, it works brilliantly. But again, you have to get through, you have to figure out what’s actually going to work and what works. You know, Israel does D cell, what we can’t do D cell here just doesn’t really work. So if there’s a technology, can it work in our environment? If so, in what conditions can it work? Because it may work brilliantly in one part of the state and not in another. It’s really those kind of questions that we want the optimization taskforce to grapple with.

Emily Lewis 15:27
And can we break down a little more technical sense of like, what are the considerations that we’re using to evaluate these technologies to make sure they are a fit for Utah? You know, because I do think that, part of the discussion is a lot of terminology about like, depletion and consumption, are thrown around. And so, in my mind, one of the things we’re thinking about is, to get to our end goal, what do we want these technologies to actually do? And so I was hoping that, Jeff, you could speak to a little bit, you know, there’s the practical considerations that Representative Hawkes just mentioned, but there’s also some legal and physical considerations we need to take to account to keep, like the legal system for the water rights that are using these agricultural technologies needs to keep intact as well.

Jeff DenBleyker 16:16
Right. I think you’re absolutely right. And I think both of you have mentioned this, I think what one of the key things that the taskforce is trying to focus on is to make sure that whatever practices we’re looking at and recommending, or that they actually provide value to the producer to the water user, if it’s not providing value to them, you know, they might get a grant to install equipment. But if it’s not providing value, it’s eventually not going to be used. And so we want to try to identify practices, technologies, incentives, that really incentivize the producer to want to do this. It’s good for them, and their own operation. And then from there, that’s really been one of the key common threads through all the projects that the task force is working on is trying to find identify what are, you know, how is this helpful to the water user in terms of yield gains, in terms of consumed water reductions? You know, does it save money in terms of fertilizer and or pesticides? But then also on the back end, is it – what does it do to the environment in terms of water quality downstream, or return flows to users downstream. So we’re trying to make sure we’re not just looking at one specific part of the system, because it is a complicated system. But once we can identify what the better or the best fit is for the different parts of the different water users within Utah, then it comes down to I think, one of the project that I’m working on right now, with the task force is to look at depletion accounting. Because, you know, one of the key things we’re trying to do is we’re, we’re trying to improve the production value, the water productivity, so how much yield or how much revenue can the farmers get from the water that they apply? And if we can, you know, maximize their productivity and reduce their consumption.

Emily Lewis 18:39
And could you explain there if there are people who are kind of newer to the water world, kind of like what consumption is like, that’s a word that’s thrown around a lot, but I think it’s very important people really understand what it means in terms of kind of like application.

Jeff DenBleyker 18:53
Yeah, great question. So consumption is really the the water that is used, through the, you know, in terms of agriculture, in terms of what is evaporated by the plants themselves. So they use the water, they take it out of the system, that water might be water that’s moisture that’s in the soil that might be applied water via irrigation, and might be precipitation, it might be groundwater, but it’s water that’s consumed or used by the plants. And, so when when we’re talking about optimizing agricultural water use, each field is unique in terms of where the plants get the water. What we’re trying to focus on, is trying to figure out – can we make sure we’re getting the best use of the applied water so the water that we divert and bring to the field to the plants in the field. And that’s where, I think another word for consumption is depletion. And that’s obviously a very prevalent term in water rights. But what we’re trying to do there is we’re trying to measure the actual depletion from these fields.

Emily Lewis 20:13
So like how much the fields really – at the end of the day depletion is how much to the fields and the operation actually take out of the water system, correct? Like if they can, I think, like a good example, if you have, let’s say you have a for legal perspective, 100 acre field, and your duty value, which is an administrativly set amount of water that’s needed to fill, in the case of Utah, alfalfa, what would it take to grow alfalfa? That changes where you are in the state, but like, if you put in, say, I have 100 acre field, and I put on four acre feet of water, I’ve got 400 acre feet of water, but 50%, kind of goes back into the system, because the field only uses that 200 feet, right?

Jeff DenBleyker 20:56

Emily Lewis 20:57
Yeah, and so I think that that’s important people understand is water is just like a big sum balance game. And you just have to keep things in balance. And I think when we look at some of these technologies, you know, it’s really exciting to get caught up on on the technologies themselves. But at the end of the day, we have to think about what are they really doing? Are they helping us change that balance, or reallocate the water used in a way that’s, like helpful for society? I think that that’s kind of the question that, you know, we always have to keep coming back to this otherwise, it’s kind of easy to get lost within the trees amongst the forest a little bit. So, so Representative Hawkes, you know, having looked now being back, two years or so out and kind of looking at some of the activities of the task force, do you feel we’re kind of meeting the goals of what we intended to do? Because one of the things here in Utah is we have so much activity in the water space, I think making sure that our energies and our discussions are leading us in kind of a productive way, I think is really important to continually assess, because this is a problem that’s never going away. And we need to be kind of agile in our thinking and in our execution.

Tim Hawkes 22:05
Sure, you know, I feel good about where it’s headed. And it’s you know, we do is with most things, there’s tweaks and refinements over time. I may go back and touch just briefly on the sort of duty versus depletion question, because I think that illustrates one of the real challenges, sometimes our challenges are technological or financial, that’s a case where really, we have an incentive problem, we have a legal system that’s built on an old set of expectations, perfectly valid expectations. But the reality is, you know, duty allocations are based on this notion that we can’t perfectly measure what people are using, or we can use as kind of a rough guide. And so we’re going to say, well, for your acreage, we’re going to assume kind of the maximum crop that can consume water, which is alfalfa. And so if you have somebody that’s an alfalfa, and they switch to a crop that uses half the water, in many cases, that producer feels like well, now I have a block of water that I ought to be able to control and the losses now, if they switch to a new technology, where they can irrigate the same acreage with one 10th of the water. And right now, the law basically says, we’re just going to put that water back to the system, an agricultural producer has a really hard time with that, because they have historically felt like I could divert up to x volume. Now you’re telling me I can only divert this little amount, and everything else, I have to lose control?

Emily Lewis 23:21
And if I can just kind of insert a point there, the reason we have to do that, though, is because the water rights are built on a system. And so you’re coming back to the function and form of the doctrine of water law where you have, you know, if this is a senior water right, this downstream, you only get to use what you have, because you have to fulfill downstream water users. So it comes back to this concept of beneficial use here in Utah, that’s ultimately the question we’re having right here is like, what is the most beneficial use of our water? You know?

Tim Hawkes 23:58
The interesting thing about it is how the system actually encourages it not to be the beneficial use. Or how the system encourages, in some cases, waste, or how the system encourages some times people just put water under their fields, even though they know the fields don’t need it, because they’re afraid that they might lose their water right in the future. And it’s that kind of thing that we really want to focus in on. Let me just speak to how the task force going, I don’t participate on it, you know, set up and it doesn’t have legislative participation, it seems to be going pretty well. One of the things that we did this last session was add some more boots on the ground, agricultural representatives to it, because when you look at the makeup of the committee, and you know, it’s made up a variety of stakeholders, many wear agricultural hats of one sort or another, it wound up very heavy on the agency side of things. And in terms of actual producers, people in production, AG, they just there weren’t many people to it. So I think we added that to make sure that we had that real world applied perspective. People that are trying to make a living off the land and managing water on a daily basis. We wanted to make sure that that perspective was represented on that. But I think we’ve added funding, I think it’s going well, I think projects are coming up. I think securing more permanent funding for it moving forward is an important thing. Because if we want to keep doing these interesting projects, and catalyzing these interesting technologies or approaches, we have to be able to support that from the state level.

Emily Lewis 25:23
Yeah, I agree completely. So I guess that is a question, do you think that this will ever turn into like a full time fund or like, if our goal is to have the the activities of this group continue, do you think Utah needs to have a more permanent water technology water innovation fund to kind of fund farmers who are interested in adopting some of the technologies that we identify? Because I mean, I think one of the things it’s helpful to think about is like, what’s the next step of where this might go? And do you think that that’s something that you know, there’ll be an appetite for, or, you know, or means that could potentially extend the life of these activities?

Tim Hawkes 26:03
I think absolutely over the long term, we’ve got to come up with things like that we really can’t afford not to, because if we don’t, again, have the ability to kind of capitalize this type of innovation, then I think we’re going to be further and further behind the eight ball, it’s going to be increasingly difficult to really stretch these finite supplies to meet all of these myriad demands. So I think by catalyzing it by having programs like this one, and certainly by having it stable and more predictable, and having more predictable funding in it, instead of whether there’s any money available, I mean, look what happened to our budget this year.

Emily Lewis 26:39
Yeah, I know.

Tim Hawkes 26:40
There won’t be any more money for agriculture optimization. But we have to sustain those again if we want to stay ahead of the curve on some of this innovation.

Emily Lewis 26:49
Yeah. And I think that’s one of the things that just, my career, I’m relatively young, you know, 10 years out, but you know, I enjoy this conversation. And so it’s kind of thinking about, where are our policies going and how do we do that? You know, what I mean? And so I agree with you completely, that Utah is such a unique state, and that our collaborations are just so strong here that we really come up with some pretty creative and innovative ways to address some water problems. So great. Okay, well, that’s a kind of some of my primary questions that I have for you guys. So I just also want to leave up an opportunity for you to – if you have any things that you find particularly interesting about this effort, or anything that you think is particularly important, kind of for the broader community to know, I think this would be a really good time to kind of bring this up and talk about any that you have.

Jeff DenBleyker 27:43
I would add kind of riff off of what Representative Hawkes was saying, I think, you know, I mean, funding is certainly going to be a critical element to – investments are going to be needed to be able to change the infrastructure. That’s, that’s out there. But I think one of the things that we also want to do is we want to try to identify where the challenges are, you know, what’s impeding our progress in, in being able to make these these changes? So trying to identify why, you know, to use Representative Hawkes example of why is it sometimes, do our systems, do our laws, promote inefficient water use? And trying to address trying to identify what those are, so that we can start to set up the mechanisms to be able to encourage good behavior, changes and –

Emily Lewis 28:51
Potentially some beneficial behavior?

Jeff DenBleyker 28:54
Yeah, exactly. And then I think, you know, one of the, one of the directions the taskforce has been moving toward, and I mentioned, one of their research areas was quantification, that was one of the objectives for the task force. And I think, you know, the more I talk to producers that I talk to water managers, I mean, it makes more and more sense if, you know, to be able to make effective decisions, to be able to maximize the value from our business from our, from, you know, the production that we have, we need information, and we need the right information. And I think that’s, you know, one of the one of the foundation stones of of this effort is to is to try to find the best methods to identify what information is needed for not only producers to make the best decisions, but also water managers,

Emily Lewis 29:54
And also water markets.

Jeff DenBleyker 29:56
Exactly. Yeah. I think in the end, One of the things I hear loud and clear, is, you know, I don’t think anybody wants to be told what to do. But I think if we can identify the tools that can help be most helpful, if we can break down the barriers that are keeping people from implementing them, then, you know, we are incredibly efficient at finding and optimizing what we do. And I think the market will prevail, you know, there will be a reason for people to want to change how they use their water. And, so that, you know, coming back to the funding is, uh, yeah, I think public funding certainly has a role in initiating, you know, and in to some extent maintaining the investments. But I think, in the end, what we ideally would like to have is a system that’s market driven, where, you know, producers water users see the, the value in changing what they do.

Emily Lewis 31:04
Yeah, I like that, because it also keeps the power at the local level. You know what I mean? And I think that if we can kind of facilitate, I think that Representative Hawkes earlier, when he was saying that we need to kind of provide the tools that best meet the needs, you know, one of the designs and the intent of this effort is to kind of find the right fit, you know, I like having a market element to it, because that’s the role of a market to find the right fit, to get the right people together with the right information and exchange it. And so, you know, I think that this is a really interesting kind of creative component about how like broader water might work in the state. So yeah, lots of changes. Representative Hawkes, anything that you think you want to add to kind of top off the discussion?

Tim Hawkes 31:51
Yeah, maybe just to build a little bit off what Jeff was talking about in terms of meeting producers where they’re at, I think one of the things that’s helpful for me, and I think for other people that aren’t engaged in production agriculture, to think about is to try to put yourself in the shoes of that producer, particularly in this time of COVID-19. You know, it sort of points up these challenges. If you’re a producer, you’re dealing with a lot of uncertainties, vagaries of markets and weather. And most producers survive by doing everything, they can diversifying their operations are doing everything they can to sort of squeeze as much uncertainty out of this uncertain prospect as they can, right. And so one of the real challenges that we have is that I have a lot of bandwidth to go out and find innovative new strategies. They don’t, they just don’t, I mean, they’re just trying to survive in many cases. And that’s where I think the role of like an optimization task force can come in, if it can connect producers to resources, help them identify state and federal programs that could fund them, help them identify the best new technologies or crops, you know, help create legal frameworks that align incentives in the right way, we make their job easier. And what we don’t do, and what we can’t afford to do is inject great new uncertainty into what they’re trying to do. So I’m going to force something on you that is not proven or has big question marks around it, that’s not going to fly with these folks. And it shouldn’t. So let’s figure out a way to kind of do the upfront vetting and work for them, and then make it very, very easy for them to adopt these new technologies or new strategies. I think that’s the key, we have to make it user friendly. And we have to get the right technologies and the right strategies to the right producers. When you do that, at least in my experience, the resistance doesn’t come from the producer, they’re more than happy to see something that makes their their job easier, or their life easier, or their livelihoods stronger.

Emily Lewis 33:50
And we have these little laboratory of democracies too you know, so we can innovate and once we start getting a lot of action on the ground, it really helps us kind of fine tune as we go, which is going to be necessary. I mean, this is this problem is – the wicked problem of water doesn’t go away as Will Sarni says, who’s a really great thought leader in this area. And so we kind of – go ahead

Tim Hawkes 34:13
I was just gonna say the task force itself is that it’s a strategic bet, right? We’re taking some resources, and we’re saying, Can this work the way we want it to work? Can this catalyze the kind of change you’d like to see? And if it does, there was always a notion that we’d find a way to make it much bigger and much more sustainable over time.

Emily Lewis 34:31
Great. Okay. Well, I really appreciate your time today, you guys. I think this is a really good conversation to have with the broader water user community. And it’s wonderful to have two voices who are so well versed in both not just the activities, but kind of the intent and the goals of the project. And so, I want to say thank you very much and wish you well in these times of uncertainty, but that’s okay! We’re going to persevere. The resilience will do it. Right? Yeah, exactly. All right. Well, thank you very much.

Tim Hawkes 35:08

Jeff DenBleyker 35:09
Thank you.

Brian Lebrecht 35:28
Nothing’s said in this podcast should be taken as providing legal advice or as establishing an attorney client relationship with you or anyone else. Thank you for listening.

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This week we are revisiting an earlier episode that is still highly relevant to today's water discussion. We are looking back on episode 21: River City.Soren Simonsen, Executive Director of the Jordan River Commission, discusses the importance of vibrant urban...

Ripple Effect 161: Maven’s Notebook

Chris Austin, publisher of Maven’s Notebook, walks us through her EXCELLENT website covering all things California water news. Maven’s Notebook is brimming with timely and comprehensive information on a number of hot topics. Chris discusses collaboration as both the...

Ripple Effect 160: Great Salt Lake Issues Forum

Lynn de Freitas, Executive Director of Friends of Great Salt Lake, joins us to discuss their 2024 Great Salt Lake Issues Forum – "Great Salt Lake: To Preserve and Protect in Perpetuity, How are We Doing?" A great conversation about how to gauge progress on the Lake...

Ripple Effect 159: Solar Panels Over Canals

Jon Parry, Assistant Manager for Weber Basin Water Conservancy District, joins us to discuss the many benefits of their solar panel demonstration project over the Layton Canal. This project is so cool on so many levels and has some serious potential for scalability...

Ripple Effect 158: HDH Desalination Technology

Christopher Link, Founder, joins us to discuss his HDH Desalination Technology and his HALO Team’s participation in Elon Musk’s X-Prize Competition. Do not miss this conversation! So many interesting and innovative ideas occurring about how to incentivize useful water...

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