Could farmers sell their water to the Great Salt Lake?

Jan 8, 2024, 4:00 PM




SALT LAKE CITY — A new initiative will be presented in the upcoming legislative session. It’s a program that would allow farmers to sell their water to the State of Utah and be sent to the Great Salt Lake. Representative Doug Owens is sponsoring this initiative and believes it’s a win-win proposal.

“Farmers will be able to opt in on a given season. It’s not something they have to sign up for permanently. It lets them do it one season at a time if it makes sense for their circumstances,” Representative Doug Owens told KSL NewsRadio.

If the initiative passes, the pilot program could start as early as this summer. It seems that many people are on board.

“Farm Bureau is supportive of this program if it gets set up. So we’ve got farmer support for it,” said Owens.

Some years, this program will be more popular than others.  The water year will have a lot to do with the amount of participation.

“What sometimes happens in a wet year like what we just had, there can be excess water that they don’t necessarily need. In those cases it may make sense for individual farmers to lease water to the state,” said Owens.

Even if there is not an amazing water year, depending on how much the state is willing to pay for the water, it may still make sense for farmers to sell. They may find it a better option than trying to do one more late-season crop that may not produce much.

To pass, the initiative will need to be approved by several committees. Then, it will be sent to the House and Senate for approval.

Related reading:

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


great salt lake shown, a bill to preserve the lake has passed...

Adam Small

Utah Legislature passes massive bill aimed at helping Great Salt Lake

This bill subjects mineral extraction companies to the same rules as every other water user in Great Salt Lake Basin.

2 hours ago

Tulips are bulbs that you plant in the fall so they can be ready in the spring. They typically come...

Michelle Lee

It’s time for tulips to bloom

Tulips are getting ready to bloom. If you planted these in the fall, your garden will soon be filled with bright and colorful bulbs.

3 hours ago

In this remote camera image released by Friends of Big Bear Valley, are a pair of bald eagles stand...

Associated Press

Hatch watch is underway at a California bald eagle nest monitored by a popular online camera feed

Southern California Mountains has an eagle laying on her eggs while people watch to see the eggs hatch from a video on their devices.

7 hours ago

Winter conditions...

Carter Williams, KSL.com

Here’s what to expect as remnants of California blizzard head to Utah

Much of Utah is under a winter weather advisory as remnants of California's blizzard heads to Utah. Wind and cold temperatures on the way.

7 hours ago

Example of a possible future salvage project on Lake Powell....

Derrick Jones

Lake Powell asks for public’s help locating possible salvage

Park officials want to know where sunken vessels were seen as Lake Powell reached record low levels.

9 hours ago

FILE: High winds toppled trees that had stood for decades at the Ft. Douglas Post Cemetery, damagin...

Simone Seikaly

Rocky Mountain Power preparing for potentially strong wind storm in Salt Lake

The National Weather Service said wind gusts could reach 65 miles per hour in portions of western Utah valleys on Saturday.

21 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Mother and cute toddler child in a little fancy wooden cottage, reading a book, drinking tea and en...

Visit Bear Lake

How to find the best winter lodging in Bear Lake, Utah

Winter lodging in Bear Lake can be more limited than in the summer, but with some careful planning you can easily book your next winter trip.

Happy family in winter clothing at the ski resort, winter time, watching at mountains in front of t...

Visit Bear Lake

Ski more for less: Affordable ski resorts near Bear Lake, Utah

Plan your perfect ski getaway in Bear Lake this winter, with pristine slopes, affordable tickets, and breathtaking scenery.

front of the Butch Cassidy museum with a man in a cowboy hat standing in the doorway...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Looking Back: The History of Bear Lake

The history of Bear Lake is full of fascinating stories. At over 250,000 years old, the lake has seen generations of people visit its shores.

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Could farmers sell their water to the Great Salt Lake?