The St. George Area Chamber of Commerce’s Public Policy Committee will host an “Eggs and Issues” Breakfast featuring a panel format update from Washington City Mayor Kress Staheli and members of the Washington City Council.

Candidates currently running for open city council seats in the Washington City Municipal Election will be offered a chance to speak about their campaign*

The breakfast will be held Wednesday, Nov. 8 at 7:30 a.m. in the Select Health
Auditorium at 1424 E. Foremaster Drive. There is no charge as the breakfast is
sponsored by Intermountain Health, but please register on the Chamber’s website event
page so food quantity may be planned well.

“We want to provide an opportunity for our members and the community to get to know
the candidates and hear their views on topics related to business,” said Nate Martinez,
who directs operations and policy engagement for the chamber. “We’re also excited to
raise awareness of all the great things Washington City has accomplished this year, as
well as their plans for the future.”

The St. George Area Chamber Public Policy Committee hosts monthly presentations on
important local, state and federal topics that affect business.

All candidates running for Washington City Council were invited to the event and offered the opportunity to be part of a Washington Council City Candidate Forum.

As far as St. George's City Council race, all five candidates will make an appearance on the Andy Griffin Show on Monday morning.

The approximate times for the candidates' show appearances are as listed:

9:05 -- Steve Kemp
9:16 -- Brad Bennett
9:27 -- Jimmie Hughes
9:39 -- Dannielle Larkin
9:50 -- Paula Smith
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Heart Of The Matter: What Makes Utahns Tick

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Utahns have a lot of motivators, but in trying to decode what makes us tick -- what gets our motors running -- this is what we came up with on the Andy Griffin Show.

Here are the main motivators that we came up with:

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1. Money -- This one is deceptive because money seeps into almost everything we do. Want to make the boss happy? To what end -- to get a promotion or raise. Want to make your spouse happy? "Hey dear, I got this for half price." Want to make your kids happy. Hand them 20 bucks. Money might be the root of all evil, as someone once famously said, but is also the root of (almost) all motivation.

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2. Inner drive -- Money can affect this one, but it's so much more than that. Inner drive is the idea, as Jack said, that "I can always be better, learn more." Inner drive can actually have many motivating factors behind it, but there is something special about someone who just wants to get better and learn more.

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3. Praise -- This is the early motivator for children. Every kid wants to hear, "I'm proud of you," or "Way to go." The thing is, some of us never really outgrow this motivator. Actually most of us don't. My Mom passed away a couple of years ago, and I'd give anything to hear her say she was proud of me one more time. Praise from a boss, spouse or even our kids and grandkids can go a long toward getting us to try harder or do better.

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4. Pride -- Closely tied into the "Praise" motivation, Pride has to do with wanting to do something great for the sake of doing something great. Of course money and inner drive also factor in here, but Pride in a job well done can be a huge factor in and of itself. Most real artists don't create something to receive praise or sell the piece of art for a lot of money. Rather, they do it because there is something great inside of them that they want to create on the outside. To them, it doesn't much matter what the rest of the world thinks.

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5. To be the best -- This motivation often comes after several of the others, sometimes before. But make no mistake, it is a strong motivator. I started off in radio wanting to be the best. I knew I would never be the best football player, or the best post player in basketball, or the best racquetballer. I tried, got pretty good at those, but came to the realization that I was never going to reach the top or even come close. But broadcasting and writing came naturally to me. I knew if I developed those talents, I had the opportunity to be the best. If not in the world, at least in my world. Of course, I now know that "the best" is mostly a fictitious, or more accurately, an objective achievement. But that didn't stop me from being motivated to try to be the best.

Ultimately, the real litmus test in motivation is this (according to Jack Lancaster):

"I always do this experiment in my head. If I had $30 million in the bank, what would I do with my time? When you really sit down and meditate on that ... it's a great test of what you really want. What would you do?"

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Jack's answer was fairly simple. "I'd probably do a lot more fishing."

Mine was not as simple. I don't think I would change much. I'm not really a golfer. I don't fish. I love my job. I love spending time with my beloved wife. I love broadcasting games on the radio.

Nope, probably wouldn't change much.

But what a great question. What does motivate you?

If money were no object, what would you spend most of your time on?

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Diabetes and Pre-Diabetes In Utah: What You Need To Know

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Type 1 diabetes used to be rare ... and it still is.

But Type 2 diabetes, the same blood-sugar disease but with a different cause, is not rare,

In fact, there's a good chance you know someone with Type 2 diabetes and an even better chance that you or someone you love has pre-diabetes and doesn't even know it.

November is Diabetes Awareness Month and also the birthday of the man who discovered a world-changing treatment for the disease (insulin) -- Sir. Frederik Banting.

You've probably heard the stories about how Banting, a research scientist, discovered insulin and the potential use it had for treating diabetes, how he could have been a millionaire, but flatly refused to patent the cure. His desire was for insulin to be cheap or free for all who suffered from diabetes.

He was later awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts.

The late Banting's birthday is Nov.14, now known as International Diabetes Day.

He passed away more than 80 years ago and doubtfully never could have seen this modern epidemic of Type 2 diabetes brought on by obesity and sugar consumption. Here are some staggering numbers (from diabetesresearch.org):

  • 37.3 million people, or 11.3% of the U.S. population, have diabetes. An estimated 28.7 million people had diagnosed diabetes. Approximately 8.6 million people have diabetes but have not yet been diagnosed.
  • 26.4 million people aged 65 years or older (48.8%) have prediabetes.
  • Diabetes is the leading cause of new cases of blindness among adults aged 18–64 years.
  • As many as 80 percent of people who have prediabetes don't know they have it.

Perhaps the best news about prediabetes is it's easily detectable (the Southwest Utah Public Health Department has a $25 test available now and will be offering the test for free Nov. 13-22).

The other good news is that you can actually prevent the onset of Type 2 diabetes before it arrives by simply getting in better shape.

"Truthfully, if you are prediabetic and lose just 5- to 7-percent of your body weight, you can stop Type 2 diabetes before it ever arrives," said SWUPHD director Dr. David Blodgett.

That means a person weighing 200 pounds needs to lose just 10 pounds or so to prevent this crippling infirmity.

So that's it, we can find out if we're getting diabetes with an easy (and free) test and we can stop it in its tracks with a little bit of diet and exercise.

The link to the prediabetes screening test on the SWUhealth.org website is here.

Some other scary diabetes facts:

  • Diabetes was the seventh leading cause of death in the United States in 2017 based on the 83,564 death certificates in which diabetes was listed as the underlying cause of death.
  • Diabetes was listed as the underlying or contributing cause of death on 270,702 death certificates in 2017.
  • In 2017, the total estimated cost of diagnosed diabetes in the U.S. was $327 billion.
  • Without insulin, the body’s cells would be starved, causing dehydration and destruction of body tissue.
  • Many people with type 2 diabetes can control their blood glucose by following a healthy meal plan and a program of regular physical activity, losing excess weight, and taking medications.

Nartional Diabetes Foundation website

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A Jubilee Of Trees Story: Surgeons Save Southern Utah Woman's Leg

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Brittany Millington, a mother of 4-year-old twins and a nurse at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital, suffered a rare and serious injury on an outing with friends last year.

During a late evening snowstorm in Enterprise, Brittany slipped and fell while walking back to her friend’s vehicle. Her leg dislocated and was positioned sideways from the knee down. Unable to relocate the leg herself, she realized she’d need to find shelter from the snow quickly. She managed to pull herself to the vehicle before passing out from the pain.

Her friend later found, and stayed, with Brittany until an ambulance arrived. First responders sedated Brittany with IV medication and put her leg back into place. But they couldn’t detect a pulse on her foot. She had ruptured her femoral artery, torn her ligaments, and had compartment syndrome, which is when the injury puts intense pressure on the muscle and can lead to permanent damage or death without treatment.

She needed surgery right away to save her leg. The hospital called in an extra trauma surgeon to take care of her.

Brittany’s next memory is waking up from surgery with two pins in her femur, two more in her tibia, and four rods to hold her leg in alignment.

“They told me I’d almost lost my leg, and if it hadn’t been for the operating room team, I wouldn’t be able to walk normally. I’m very, very fortunate and grateful for everyone,” she said.

Brittany has required additional surgeries and follow-up care while healing. She is physically active again, and even able jump on the trampoline with her children.

“They were really excited about that one,” she said. “I’m a very hands-on mom. They’re my world. Now I can run with them and play.”

The Jubilee of Trees is celebrating its 40th year of benefitting patients at Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital by expanding and enhancing surgical services to meet a growing regional need.

The annual community holiday event will begin with a Gala Dinner and Auction on Saturday, Nov. 18, and remain open Sunday, Nov. 19, through Tuesday, Nov. 21, at the Dixie Convention Center in St. George. All funds raised will increase the hospital’s capacity to care for the community with world-class surgical services.

The Jubilee of Trees, which is hosted by the Intermountain Foundation, is a magical holiday experience featuring a winter wonderland of beautifully decorated trees, wreaths, gingerbread houses, and more created by volunteers from Utah, Arizona and Nevada.

It’s brought to life by a dedicated community volunteer board whose members enlist the time and talents of families, organizations, and businesses throughout Utah and neighboring states. 

“We are grateful for the community members who responded to our ‘Christmas in July’ call for Jubilee of Trees volunteers, and are generously giving of their time and talent to support this cherished event,” said Loriana De Crescenzo, executive director of Intermountain Foundation at St. George Regional Hospital. “We invite the southern Utah community to be inspired by their work, to believe in the magic of Christmas, and join us Nov. 18-21 to help expand much-needed surgical services in our community.”

Tickets are available at https://JOT23.eventbrite.com.

The need for surgical services is rapidly growing in the region. St. George is Utah’s third-fastest-growing city – an area with the highest percentage of seniors in the state.

The hospital is adding up to seven new surgeons every year to accommodate the increased demand, but additional space and technology are needed to better meet community needs now and in the future.

Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital is a high-level trauma center. Because of that, it’s critical to maintain 24-hour trauma services and surgical coverage by general and specialty surgeons, including cardiology, orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, anesthesiology, emergency medicine, radiology, and critical care.

The Jubilee of Trees will not only help increase access to surgical services in St. George area communities, but help upgrade technology to allow more precise, less invasive surgical procedures that yield better outcomes and shorter healing times.

“With your support, care at our hospital will continue to exceed expectations as this region has become one of the most sought-after destinations to live the healthiest life possible,” said Patrick Carroll, MD, neonatologist and medical director of Intermountain St. George Regional Hospital. “Join us at this year’s Jubilee of Trees, and our efforts to continue to push the boundaries of healthcare and to redefine what’s possible in emergency care delivered locally and beyond.”

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For more information, visit intermountainhealthcare.org/foundation/jubilee-of-trees.

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Hey Utah, This One Liquid Will Save Your Life

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Nobody wants to die young.

We do so many things to protect ourselves so that we can have longevity in our lives -- vaccinations, seatbelts, safety helmets, hand railings -- heck, we even donned facemasks and stayed away from crowds during the Covid-19 outbreak.

So why don't we drink enough water?

It's the one liquid that can save our lives.

"Water fills so many roles," said Dr. David Blodgett, Southern Utah's head public health official during his monthly visit to the Andy Griffin Show. "It's the medium of exchange for blood to deliver oxygen to your brain. It's how you dissolve and remove waste from your body. Staying well hydrated is key to good health."

Part of the problem is the argument about how much water we should be drinking.

Our moms always told us we should be drinking about eight glasses of water a day. According to the Mayo Clinic, that's not necessarily true:

It's a simple question with no easy answer. Studies have produced varying recommendations over the years. But your individual water needs depend on many factors, including your health, how active you are and where you live. No single formula fits everyone. But knowing more about your body's need for fluids will help you estimate how much water to drink each day.

Also from the Mayo Clinic, "every cell, tissue and organ in your body needs water to work properly. For example, water:

  • Gets rid of wastes through urination, perspiration and bowel movements
  • Keeps your temperature normal
  • Lubricates and cushions joints
  • Protects sensitive tissues

"Lack of water can lead to dehydration — a condition that occurs when you don't have enough water in your body to carry out normal functions. Even mild dehydration can drain your energy and make you tired."

All right, so how much water should we drink? How much is enough for our needs? How much agua will keep us alive and moving?

Experts say the average adult, living in a temperate climate, needs 3.7 liters (men) or 2.7 liters (women) per day to maintain a healthy body.

That comes with one caveat: If you are extremely active, live in a warmer than average climate or are pregnant, you will need more water than those basic recommendations.

One other note from the Mayo Clinic: it's pretty much impossible to drink too much water. "Drinking too much water is rarely a problem for healthy, well-nourished adults."

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Would You Buy A House That Is Haunted? A Murder House?

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First things first: It is perfectly legal to sell a house in the state of Utah that is either haunted or has had something brutal happen inside its walls without telling the prospective home buyers..

Home sellers are not legally obligated to disclose reports of apparitions, of past murders, suicides or other nefarious events ("stigmatized properties").

In Utah, "stigmatized properties" are the site of a homicide, felony, suicide, infectious disease or drug contamination.

That's why it's always good to talk to potential neighbors before you make that big financial commitment.

Armed with this knowledge, Zillow asked more than 1,000 prospective home buyers if they would consider buying a house that was generally known to be haunted.

Amazingly, almost 70 percent of respondents answered in the affirmative.

OK, so let's take ghosts out of this, because truthfully some people believe in them and some don't. So let's stick with straight facts.

How many of you would buy a house that was stigmatized -- or more specifically a house in which a high-profile murder had taken place?

That number drops significantly in comparison with the question about haunted houses. Only about 30 percent of those polled said they would buy a house where they knew a murder had taken place.

Of the 30 percent who said they would buy the house anyway, they cited other "check mark" positives as outweighing the thought of the house's past -- things like great location, great yard, looks and convenience.

They also said the house's notorious past may help with negotiations and price.

"I love to negotiate, and you can bet that if the property had ... that issue .. , I would be cutting deep on the price," one persons said.

Another added: "Let the realtor work the past ghost for a discount. Focus on what kind of house you're getting and the condition of the bones, pipes, and appliances."

But even the ones who said they would buy a "murder house," draw the line after a certain point.

"If it would have been a cult murder or someone that hid dead bodies in the house (i.e. a serial killer), then I'd be concerned."

Still, money talks, right? According to theHill.com, "Data shows 'murder houses' sell for a median 21% less than their previous sale price and 9% less than the list price. These properties also sell for 15% less than comparable houses in the same zip code."

So where's the line for you? If you could get $100,000 off a $500,000 house because a murder had been committed there, would you do it?

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Poof! The Southern Utah Town That Disappeared

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Utah's history is rich, especially in our corner of the state.

Ghost towns like Grafton and Old Irontown evoke emotions from Utah historians. These places were once vibrant communities that for one reason or another, were abandoned and eventually turned into the ghost towns that they are today.

Was Erastus Hooker related to famous General Joseph "Fightin Joe" Hooker?
Was Erastus Hooker related to famous General Joseph "Fightin Joe" Hooker?
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But nobody seems to remember Hookerton. Or perhaps more accurately, nobody wants to remember Hookerton, the town with the sullied reputation and mysterious disappearance.

Located southwest of St. George (historians disagree as to exactly where), Hookerton was a stereotypical Old West watering hole with one big not-so-secret industry.

Hookerton was home to, well, hookers.

Presumably this town was founded by and named after its first resident, Erastus Weinheimer Hooker. The trapper and fur trader passed through these parts in the 1830s, long before the pioneers found their way here.

Hooker moved on, but returned in the latter part of that decade and built a cabin somewhere near (again, we don't know where exactly) the Beaver Dam Wash.

Before long, as we humans like to do, others built near Hooker's ranch and before long a town was established. Hooker, notoriously introverted, objected to the name "Hookerton," but lacked the gumption or savvy to fight it and the town was named after him.

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Like any good western town at the time, a saloon was built, featuring several rooms for traveling guests as well as a general store and even a small bank (reportedly one of the first to be robbed by Butch Cassidy!).

As time went by, Hookerton began to attract the "cowboy" and "drifter" type, men looking to avoid the more religious and pious area of St. George and Santa Clara.

With the influx of men and the mix of alcohol and loneliness came the "world's oldest profession."

"Hookers" began to arrive in Hookerton in the 1850s and the town's population grew to the bulging number of 159 citizens.

As far as historians can tell, Hookerton's population stayed in the 160 range for approximately 25 years. In the mid 1880s the town's literal thirst began to take its toll. Without a reliable water source, the population began to dwindle and by 1885 there were less than 65 people left in the town.

And then the strange part. Some time between 1887 and 1891, Hookerton just disappeared.

Poof. It was gone.

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Reportedly cowboys would ride out to where they thought the town was located and only find sand, dust and a lonesome hum where the town used to be.

In fact, there were no signs it had ever existed. No abandoned buildings, no worn trails, no wagon ruts, no human waste, not even the signs of a campfire.

For all intents and purposes, Hookerton was wiped from the face of the earth.

The baffling story of Hookerton has historians and scientists grasping for explanations, with one local history buff saying the town must have been purged by God.

"Maybe what was happening in that town created the need for it to be removed ... permanently," said the local historian, who asked that his name not be used in this article. "This area was very religious and ordained by the Creator in a lot of people's eyes. I believe it's possible the locals just 'prayed it away.'"

Other less religious types theorize that a huge flood came through the Beaver Wash area and the mostly abandoned down was wiped away by the rushing water.

What really happened to Hookerton will likely never be known.

And I have a feeling old Erastus W. Hooker would be OK with that.

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Desperate Times Call For Desperate Measures: The 'Nepo-homebuyer'

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Have you heard of the term "nepo-homebuyer"?

It's quickly becoming a thing in our modern world.

See, the issue many young people are running into is the fact that getting into a $380,000 starter home at eight percent interest has become pretty much impossible for someone making 15-20 bucks an hour

Even if that young couple has both partners working and they both make $20 an hour, the monthly household income is less than $7,000 a month. With no money down that means a starter home (maybe a manufactured home or a condo for that price) would have a payment of $3,000 a month.

Ouch.

That's where a "nepo-homebuyer" becomes necessary.

A 'Nepo-homebuyer' is someone who uses a significant loan or gift from family members (usually parents) to make a large down payment, thus making the house payment affordable.

According to Forbes.com, "An eye-popping 38% of recent homebuyers under age 30 used either a cash gift from a family member or an inheritance in order to afford their down payment.

"First-time homeownership has become increasingly expensive, which has shut the door to homeownership for young people without family money. As a result, a large share of young homeowners can be labeled “nepo-homebuyers,” meaning they received family money to purchase a home."

For instance, taking that same $380,000 home, but applying a $100,000 down payment would bring the house payment down from $3,000 a month to $2,164 a month for a 30 year fixed mortgage at the current 8.55 percent.

While that doesn't make the payment cheap, it often makes the difference between being able to get a home or having to stay in an overpriced rental.

If the couple makes $6,800 a month, the net difference between the two payments is monstrous -- $836 to buy diapers, groceries, clothes or other necessities.

There are a couple of issues with the "nepo-homebuyer" model.

First, the family member or parent has to have a lot of excess money -- and usually kids have no idea how much money their parents have.

Second, there are a bunch of complicated feelings that come with this kind of relationship. Was the money a gift? Do I have to repay it? Do the parents then have a say as to how I raise my kids? Do I have to give them a cut if I sell my house? Can they really afford it? ... and the list goes on.

But even with these potential issues, we've gotten to the point that the only way many young families will ever get a home of their own is with a little bit of help, a little bit of "nepo-homebuyer" help.

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Is Daylight Savings Time About To Get Canceled In Utah?

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When we fall back next month, will it be the final time Utahns have to change their clocks?

Daylight Saving Time ends on November 5 this year, with the majority of the United States moving their clocks back an hour.

But this may be one of the final times we have to do that thanks to rare bipartisan support to end the practice once and for all.

Last year, the Senate voted unanimously to end the bi-annual practice of changing the clocks. The legislation, called the Sunshine Protection Act, would have locked the clocks at daylight saving, which would mean brighter afternoons for all.

The bill failed in the House of Representatives.

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Getty Images

Now the legislation is back - and is back in limbo.

Florida Senator Marco Rubio re-introduced a permanent daylight saving time bill, which was sponsored by a bipartisan group of 12 senators.

Of course, this is creating confusion for the average American. All we want to know if we have to keep changing our clocks.

Which begs the question: When will our lawmakers get their act together?

UTAH'S POSITION

Well, it's a little bit complicated. Signed into law in 2020, Utah's move to permanent daylight saving time is contingent on two things:

  1. Congressional approval.
  2. At least four other western states must make the move -- meaning Utah doesn't want to go it alone. The good news is Arizona has already decided to ban the clock-changing, but right now stays on Mountain Standard Time. Three other states would also have to make the move out of these nine: California, Colorado, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Washington or Wyoming.

According to the website USAfacts.org:

At least 45 states have considered or passed legislation to shift to permanent daylight saving time or permanent standard time. In 2022, the Senate passed the Sunshine Protection Act, which would move the US to permanent daylight saving time. But the bill has not received a vote in the House of Representatives.

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So Thirsty ... Will Southern Utah Have Enough Water To Survive?

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Zach Renstrom does a lot of worrying --- so we don't have to.

Renstrom, the general manager of the Washington County Water Conservancy District, knows his job is perhaps the most critical job in this desert county and he and his staff have put together a plan so that Southern Utah will have water 20 years from now and beyond.

"I think about it constantly," said Renstrom on his monthly visit to the Andy Griffin Show. "I think about it when I'm out running, up on the trails. It's something I'm never not thinking about."

The "It" he thinks about is the unquenchable thirst Washington County has for water. The high desert has blossomed with trees, grass and humans, and the need for water is relentless.

So Renstrom and his staff recently presented a 20-year plan to officials of the county and local cities, including local mayors, county commissioners and city councils.

In the plan, Renstrom, lays out for the local leaders how Washington County can continue to be sated in this time of tremendous growth. He listed several key areas:

  1. Water conservation -- Amazingly, even with the extreme growth in recent times, conservation has made up for the new population so the net water usage has not gone up. In addition, the county is offering cash rebates for homeowners who swap out grass for more desert friendly landscaping, and new houses have strict grass requirements.
  2. Regional reuse system --  Through the construction of new treatment facilities, pipelines, and storage reservoirs (like the potential Warner valley Reservoir) to capture reuse water and put it to use for agricultural and irrigation purposes, freeing up water for drinking. Renstrom says the reuse systems will provide extremely clean water.
  3. Potable water development projects -- These projects include the new Toquer Reservoir, expansion of the Sullivan/Cottom Wells, Cove Reservoir in Kane County, redevelopment of the Ence Wells, and a well in Diamond Valley.
  4. Municipal groundwater optimization -- Renstrom said many cities aren't using all their water rights -- potential wells and aquifers that could lead to a bounty of new water.
  5. Agricultural conversion -- As farmers decide to sell their land for development, Renstrom said the County could buy the water rights from these farmers and ranchers.

Most of us don't spend much time thinking about water and where it comes from, but Renstrom knows that water is the lifeblood that keeps Dixie pumping.

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