Letter to the Editor: ‘I know what it is like to turn on a faucet and have nothing come out’

Stock image | Photo by Angelo D'Amico/iStock/Getty Images Plus, St. George News

OPINION — My family moved to the Washington Fields 40 years ago to extend the legacy of operating a family horticultural business originated in northern Utah. My grandparents and parents worked tirelessly to create a life in the desert – farming alfalfa fields and growing bedding plants and vegetable starts for wholesale and retail sale. Water resources were at the heart of our daily operations and an essential function of our family’s survival.

We sourced and drilled our own wells, ran pipe and developed an expensive reverse osmosis system to have potable water. We moved sprinkler lines several times a day to water our fields, had to be quick with our showers, and would often have days where something went awry and we went without water until repairs could be made or our storage tanks could be refilled.

We had conversations daily revolving around our water usage and the necessity of conserving this precious resource. “Don’t waste water!” was a phrase etched into our little heads by the constant reminders of our parents. I know what it is like to turn on a faucet and have nothing come out. It was only after I left home for college and other adventures that my parents’ home and business could be connected to the city’s predictable and reliable water supply.

Now, my brothers and I have anchored our own business on the family property and work with our children growing things for the beautification of our community and working with our father to continue the legacy our grandparents began.

In addition to my personal business interests, I serve on the Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors, the Utah State Agricultural Conservation District (UACD) Board, and as a Supervisor of Zone 5 of the UACD. In addition, I’m heading a new initiative by Washington County to create a road map for the long-term planning of agricultural preservation and innovation. Most importantly, I am a mother of two boys whom I decided to raise in this community after living in northern Utah and Oregon.

Every day I see the evidence of the growth and change all around us. In my professional pursuits and community service, I understand the dynamics and direction of the economic development of this region. I mention these things by way of explaining my interest as a long-term resident, a stakeholder and active participant in the present and future path of my beloved Southern Utah home. I am concerned about the results that may befall us if we do not take decisive action in securing the water resources necessary to support the vibrancy of our community.

Even if the doors were to close tomorrow to new development in Washington County, the notion that our reliance upon the single source of the Virgin River watershed is foolhardy and unsustainable. Our community has received the benefit of long-term planning and preparation of those who understood the consequences and who decided they would carve out a way for those who would follow.

I am an unabashed proponent of conservation efforts, yet I recognize that they alone cannot provide the dependability, nor the volume of water needed to sustain the needs of our community.

As we strive to bring higher paying wages, technology and educational opportunities for the generations that will follow, it is incumbent upon those making decisions today to adopt the vision and foresight to prepare for what will come. In order to attract and sustain those opportunities, we need to be ambitious in our undertakings and judicious in our methods.

I applaud the efforts of local leaders, legislators and community members who have laid the groundwork for the success of the Lake Powell Pipeline, and I am grateful that we have a viable option to supply water. The costs may seem high today, but they do not compare with the penalties and complications others will endure if we fail to procure and develop this most fundamental of resources and follow in the visionary footsteps of those who came before us.

Submitted by NICOLE HANCOCK, Washington City, Utah.

Letters to the Editor are not the product of St. George News, its editors, staff or news contributors. The matters stated and opinions given are the responsibility of the person submitting them. They do not reflect the product or opinion of St. George News and are given only light edit for technical style and formatting.

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