Representative Doug Owens proposes the following substitute bill:




Chief Sponsor: Doug Owens

Senate Sponsor: Scott D. Sandall


8     General Description:
9          This bill addresses the partnership of Utah Water Ways.
10     Highlighted Provisions:
11          This bill:
12          ▸     outlines coordination related to water and the public education system; and
13          ▸     makes technical changes.
14     Money Appropriated in this Bill:
15          None
16     Other Special Clauses:
17          None
18     Utah Code Sections Affected:
19     AMENDS:
20          79-2-408, as enacted by Laws of Utah 2023, Chapter 163

22     Be it enacted by the Legislature of the state of Utah:
23          Section 1. Section 79-2-408 is amended to read:
24          79-2-408. Utah Water Ways.
25          (1) As used in this section:

26          (a) "Partnership" means the nonprofit, statewide partnership described in Subsections
27     (2) and (3).
28          (b) "Water supply entity" means an entity supplying either culinary or irrigation water
29     to a water user.
30          (2) The department shall oversee:
31          (a) the creation of a nonprofit, statewide partnership in accordance with this section;
32     and
33          (b) the state's participation in the partnership.
34          (3) The partnership shall:
35          (a) be known as "Utah Water Ways";
36          (b) have as core purposes to:
37          (i) facilitate coordination of efforts to optimize the use of water by:
38          (A) sponsoring policy discussions about the state's water supply;
39          (B) engaging the private sector to help support efforts to optimize the use of water and
40     related activities;
41          (C) coordinating with the Department of Agriculture and Food and the Department of
42     Environmental Quality on water related issues;
43          (D) maintaining communication among partners in the partnership;
44          (E) providing a line of communication from partners to state leaders; and
45          (F) promoting coordination of grants, rebate programs, or sponsorships that support the
46     optimal use of water; and
47          (ii) encourage residents of the state to make changes to optimize the use of water and
48     care for the state's water supply by:
49          (A) providing public education and public awareness campaigns and helping
50     consolidate campaigns about the state's water supply, water quality, and water use; and
51          (B) providing residents of the state with tools to understand what can be done to
52     optimize the use of water; [and]
53          (c) consistent with Subsection (3)(b)(ii)(A) and subject to Subsection (8), coordinate
54     with the State Board of Education to create standards-aligned resources and professional
55     development opportunities to be used in select grades in kindergarten through grade 12 of the
56     public education system, including:

57          (i) an overview of the water cycle;
58          (ii) an overview of Utah's water systems, including reference to watersheds, watershed
59     health, groundwater, river systems, and major water infrastructure;
60          (iii) an overview on how water is used in Utah, such as in the residential, agricultural,
61     and industrial sectors, including information regarding:
62          (A) the pass-through of water used in households to terminal lakes like the Great Salt
63     Lake;
64          (B) the pass-through of water used in many industries to terminal lakes like the Great
65     Salt Lake;
66          (C) the jobs and products created by industrial sections that use water;
67          (D) the importance of agriculture in providing food; and
68          (E) water recycling in areas that do not have terminal lakes like the Great Salt Lake;
69          (iv) information on the geological and climate changes for the last 30,000 years that
70     created and changed the Great Salt Lake;
71          (v) strategies for individuals to protect water quality;
72          (vi) strategies for individuals to optimize the use of water, and the reasons optimization
73     is needed; and
74          (vii) hands-on methods to help students learn the information described in this
75     Subsection (3)(c); and
76          [(c)] (d) seek grants, gifts, donations, devises, and bequests.
77          (4) The board of directors for the partnership shall:
78          (a) consist of 13 individuals as follows:
79          (i) the executive director of the department, or the executive director's designee;
80          (ii) the director of the Division of Water Resources, or the director's designee;
81          (iii) the executive director of the Department of Environmental Quality, or the
82     executive director's designee;
83          (iv) the commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Food, or the
84     commissioner's designee;
85          (v) a representative of rural Utah selected jointly by the governor, the speaker of the
86     House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate;
87          (vi) the general managers for four water conservancy districts selected jointly by the

88     governor, the speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate; and
89          (vii) four members of the business community selected jointly by the governor, the
90     speaker of the House of Representatives, and the president of the Senate;
91          (b) hire an executive director by August 1, 2023, who shall serve for an initial term of
92     four years; and
93          (c) adopt policies concerning the board of directors' internal organization and
94     procedures.
95          (5) The partnership may, consistent with this section, receive a grant, gift, donation,
96     devise, or bequest.
97          (6) The partnership shall annually report to the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and
98     Environment Interim Committee.
99          (7) Notwithstanding the creation of the partnership, a water supply entity may maintain
100     an important role with water supply users to encourage the optimized use of water such as
101     through localized messaging, rebate programs, or other activities.
102          (8) The standards-aligned resources created under Subsection (3)(c) may not include
103     information on human-caused climate change.
104          Section 2. Effective date.
105          This bill takes effect on May 1, 2024.