There have been inquiries from businesses that want to locate in Salt Lake that will likely need to use a lot of water, including bottling plants and data centers.
Commercial and industrial developments in Salt Lake City, Utah, could potentially be limited to 300,000 gallons of water per day under a proposed ordinance.
The only two users above that number are the University of Utah and a refinery.
“Although we don't really have a lot of these high-intensity uses right now, we could see these users coming into the city,” said Salt Lake City planner Daniel Echeverria, reported KUER News.
According to Echeverria, there have been inquiries from businesses that want to locate in Salt Lake that will likely need to use a lot of water, including bottling plants and data centers.
Resultantly, some council members have suggested tightening the restrictions. One Councilmember, Dan Dugan, proposed limiting use to 200,000 gallons or less, reported KUER News.
“Our water will be our Achilles heel for this city and for this state,” Dugan said, reported KUER News. “I think we're doing a disservice by leaving it at 300,000 [gallons per day]. It's such an easy mark.”
The ordinance would apply just about everywhere in the city, except the University of Utah campus and the city’s northwest quadrant, since it is a state entity.
The city entered into a development agreement with two landowners that locks that area into the city’s 2018 zoning code, reported KUER News.
“There’s huge concern about the undeveloped 7,000 acres that exist north of I-80 and west of the airport and whether intensive water users will be allowed to develop there,” said Deeda Seed, an organizer with the Center for Biological Diversity. “The city really needs to make sure that doesn’t happen.”
The council is scheduled to have a public hearing on the proposal on Dec. 7, added KUER News.