Dear Editor,

The primary problem with building infrastructure in the valley before the current water study is completed is we do not know how much water is available for growth in the aquifer.

GWSSA for years believed there was almost unlimited water in our aquifer. This myth was broken over 10 years ago when GWSSA had to drill four wells instead of one well to find water for our culinary system.

Another myth was that more than 10,000 acre feet of water was flowing over the Moab Fault into the Moab Valley and draining into the Colorado River. The current water study drilled wells across the valley and found little water flowing underground into the river. This may mean that we are currently pumping all available underground water in the aquifer. We are also using all above-ground discharge from the aquifer in the summer. Mill Creek is often dry and the big Moab spring in the golf course is fully utilized.

Moab City and Grand County continue to approve hundreds of new connections that will be on line before the water study is completed. Nobody has the courage to reduce growth in the valley until we complete the water study in about two years. The city and county have their heads buried in sand and are afraid of the developers in the community. The problem is information about the quantity of water in our aquifer is not available at this time to show that our aquifer is fully utilized.

GWSSA and San Juan County do have limitations in the quantity of additional water rights that they can have until the water study is completed. The Utah Division of Water Rights has confirmed that future water allocations to GWSSA and San Juan County depend on the results of the current study. However, Moab City, GWSSA and San Juan County have enough unused water rights from past years that probably exceed the available water in the Glen Canyon Aquifer.