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A Milestone Achieved: Utah's First Water Bank Receives Unanimous Approval

The Utah Board of Water Resources reached a historic milestone on October 5th, as they unanimously approved the establishment of the 'First Water Bank of Utah' in the Vernal area. This momentous occasion was the culmination of nearly two years of dedicated efforts by Ryan Goodrich from Ashley Valley Water & Sewer Improvement District and Keith Despain from Vernal City, who presented their comprehensive documentation to the board.

"The First Water Bank of Utah ensures that water transactions are conducted ethically and in compliance with regulations," said Ryan Goodrich, general manager of the Ashley Valley Water & Sewer.

This statement from Ryan Goodrich underlines the commitment to ethical water transactions and regulatory compliance, providing assurance to the public and stakeholders alike. The establishment of the First Water Bank of Utah aligns with the Water Banking Act, approved by the Utah Legislature in 2020, which aims to promote optimal use of public water, transparency in water markets, facilitate temporary, flexible, and low-cost water transactions among users, and support Utah's agricultural economy.

During the board meeting, Goodrich emphasized the significance of this achievement, highlighting the exhaustive two-year process leading up to the approval. The water bank introduces a revolutionary approach to water transactions by creating a digital marketplace on the platform WETx. This platform allows anyone to access information about available water for lease or purchase, opening up water transactions to a wider audience.

Vernal City and the Ashley Valley Water & Sewer Improvement District emerged as exemplary models during the board discussion, demonstrating a collaborative approach that adhered to the statutory criteria outlined in the state code. The board members, while posing questions to Goodrich and Despain, expressed overwhelming support and admiration for the dedication and effort invested in making the water bank a reality.

The approval of the 'First Water Bank of Utah' signifies a significant step forward for water resource management in the state. As Vernal City qualifies as a statutory water bank, it stands as a pioneering example for others to follow. The unanimous approval by the Utah Board of Water Resources underscores the collective recognition of the importance of this initiative and its potential impact on the community.

In the coming days, additional details about the implications and benefits of having a water bank in the Vernal area will be shared through updates from Vernal City and the Ashley Valley Water & Sewer Improvement District. This approval marks the beginning of a new era in water resource management, setting the stage for future developments and innovations in Utah's approach to water conservation and accessibility.

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