Utah Gov. Olene Walker unveiled an aggressive plan to improve water quality throughout the state by introducing her Watershed Initiative which falls under the Walker Work Plan.
The program is comprehensive and is designed to improve both water quality and quantity over the coming years. To initiate the program, the governor will focus on segments of 25 key streams and reservoirs.
"This project can affect every Utahn in a positive way," said Walker. "In order to improve Utah, today and tomorrow, we need to ensure our future prosperity have a clean and sustainable supply of water."
A watershed is an area of land from which all water drains to the same location such as a stream, pond, lake, river or wetland. Watersheds are dynamic natural systems that not only provide water, forage and habitat for wildlife and livestock, they help clean our air and offer places to recreate and find solitude. They also contain timber, energy and mineral resources, and are the headwaters of our food supply.
"It is my goal to provide for cleaner rivers and lakes, to enhance water yield, and to increase public awareness and wise use of Utah's watersheds." Walker noted.
The initiative will also offer educational materials and a website (www.adoptawaterbody.utah.gov/) so schools, businesses and individuals can find their local watershed and possibly join an already existing program or start their own. By the winter of 2004, the governor will assemble her Cabinet for a watershed progress report.