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AM Brief: Colorado most endangered river & Intermountain overhauls landscaping

A low river flows through a wide red rock valley with a bridge crossing it.
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A new report lists the Colorado River as the most endangered river in America.

Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Northern Utah

New SLC market aims to serve city’s west side

An international market is opening at the Utah State Fairpark to celebrate Salt Lake City’s most diverse neighborhoods. The project will have food, goods, services and programming that organizers said are intended to reflect the many cultures of the city’s west side. Their goal is to fill a need in an area that’s considered a food desert, where there’s limited access to healthy and affordable food. Lisia Satini, who lives in the Fairpark neighborhood and advises the city on food equity, said the west side does need more options and operators of the market need to ask residents what exactly they want. Read the full story.Emily Means

State

Intermountain updates landscaping to save water

Intermountain Healthcare is overhauling its campuses’ landscaping in a move that’s expected to conserve 17.5 million gallons of water per year. Intermountain recently installed high-tech irrigation systems and updated the landscaping to use little or no irrigation at five facilities. Crews at the Riverton hospital removed more than ten acres of grass, which is projected to save over nine million gallons of water each year. — Leah Treidler

Region/Nation

U.S. homebuilder purchases Colorado River Basin water resources

America’s largest homebuilder is buying a water resources company with holdings throughout the Colorado River Basin. After buying Vidler Water Resources, D.R. Horton hopes to tap into the company’s existing portfolio. Conservationists said it’s evidence that private interests are trying to acquire more water resources. Kyle Roerink, executive director of the environmental group Great Basin Water Network in Nevada, said governments need to consider whether extending suburban sprawl into regions with limited water is in the public interest. The homebuilding company spent $291 million to buy Vidler. — Alex Hager, KUNC

Shrinking Colorado River spells crisis for the West

The Colorado River is America's most endangered river according to a new report from the non-profit advocacy organization American Rivers. The Colorado River runs through southern Utah and provides water to 40 million people throughout the region. But there’s not enough water to meet all current needs, and climate change is expected to reduce the flow by 10% to 30% by 2050. That’s due to drought, shrinking snowpack and surging temperatures. The report said current plans don’t go far enough to address the oncoming crisis, but the funds from the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act provide an unprecedented opportunity to take bold action. — Leah Treidler

Not guilty plea in Daybell murder case

A mother charged with conspiring to kill her children, her estranged husband and a lover’s wife refused to enter a plea to murder and other charges on Tuesday, prompting an Idaho judge to enter a not guilty plea on her behalf. Lori Vallow Daybell and her new husband, Chad Daybell, were both at the courthouse in the eastern Idaho town of St. Anthony for separate court proceedings. The couple faces numerous charges in the case, including conspiracy to commit murder and first-degree murder in connection with the deaths of Lori Daybell’s children — 7-year-old Joshua “JJ” Vallow, 16-year-old Tylee Ryan and Chad Daybell’s first wife, Tammy Daybell. — Associated Press

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