Event Title

Water Use in the Tech Industry in Utah--Material Realities and Symbolic Meanings

Presenter Information

Hilary Hungerford

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

htpp://water.usu.edu

Start Date

4-5-2016 5:24 PM

End Date

4-5-2016 5:27 PM

Description

This research project examines water use in the booming tech industry along the Wasatch Front, Utah. Using the conceptual lens of the hydro-social cycle, our research contributes insight into the relationships between cities, the tech industry, politics, and water in Utah. Our first aim in this project is to map the water-intensive tech industry, including data storage and high-tech manufacturing sites and the overlapping jurisdictions of water governance at their locations. Water provision for the tech industry is a patchwork of city extensions, water conservancy districts, groundwater development, and acquisition of new water rights. Cities have used the tech industry as leverage for expanding otherwise unpopular infrastructure projects and also as a key source of municipal funding and economic growth. Some manufacturing sites use both city water and groundwater development to secure water access. For our second aim, we investigate how water is used by the tech industry and the perceptions of this use by city managers, citizen interest groups, and state agencies. Using data from interviews with city water managers, tech industry facilities managers, and citizen interest groups as well as publicly available information from the State of Utah and local newspapers, we argue that water in the tech industry has both material and symbolic meanings.

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A poster by Hilary Hungerford, who is with Utah Valley University, Earth Science

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Apr 5th, 5:24 PM Apr 5th, 5:27 PM

Water Use in the Tech Industry in Utah--Material Realities and Symbolic Meanings

USU Eccles Conference Center

This research project examines water use in the booming tech industry along the Wasatch Front, Utah. Using the conceptual lens of the hydro-social cycle, our research contributes insight into the relationships between cities, the tech industry, politics, and water in Utah. Our first aim in this project is to map the water-intensive tech industry, including data storage and high-tech manufacturing sites and the overlapping jurisdictions of water governance at their locations. Water provision for the tech industry is a patchwork of city extensions, water conservancy districts, groundwater development, and acquisition of new water rights. Cities have used the tech industry as leverage for expanding otherwise unpopular infrastructure projects and also as a key source of municipal funding and economic growth. Some manufacturing sites use both city water and groundwater development to secure water access. For our second aim, we investigate how water is used by the tech industry and the perceptions of this use by city managers, citizen interest groups, and state agencies. Using data from interviews with city water managers, tech industry facilities managers, and citizen interest groups as well as publicly available information from the State of Utah and local newspapers, we argue that water in the tech industry has both material and symbolic meanings.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/runoff/2016/2016Posters/19