August 04, 2014

Salt Lake City Partner Jody Williams Leads Successful Effort to Advance Multi-Billion Dollar Water Initiative in Utah

Salt Lake City Partner Jody Williams Leads Successful Effort to Advance Multi-Billion Dollar Water Initiative in Utah

After two years of dedicated effort by Salt Lake City Partner Jody Williams to include a Water Task Force in the Salt Lake Chamber’s Natural Resource Business Council, a new multi-billion dollar water initiative has finally launched.

The Salt Lake Chamber kicked off the initiative during the “Utah: Water is Your Business Week” that took place Aug. 4-8. The initiative includes spending $32 billion on water infrastructure repairs and new water development within the next 40 years, and successfully implementing a 25 percent conservation plan in order to supply another 500,000 people.  Although the investment will be significant, the project is expected to yield 930,000 new jobs, $93 billion in incremental economic output, and generate a $71 billion infusion in personal incomes in Utah.

Holland & Hart was one of the major sponsors of this initiative, and Jody was a key participant and speaker at the launch activities. She is a member of Utah Governor Gary Herbert’s State Water Strategy Advisory Team and a member of the Salt Lake Chamber’s Board of Governors.

Williams said water concerns are a growing issue for many of our Holland & Hart clients and have become a significant factor in much of the work she does. She said water concerns arise in a multitude of business sectors including technology, land and commercial real estate, manufacturing, oil and gas, thermal solar and other energy projects, hospitals, and agricultural clients.

Williams believes that in order for Utah to ensure a continuing water supply for Utah businesses and families as its population grows, the business community needed to take a leadership role. Over the past two years, she made presentations to the Chamber’s Executive Board and lobbied hard for support from other Chamber members. 

“We must be able to attract new business, sustain our existing business partners as they grow and thrive, and provide an attractive place for our employees and families to live and work,” she said.

Holland & Hart’s Water Law practice comprises attorneys advising and representing a wide variety of clients across the Mountain West region in various types of water matters, including water rights, water supply development, and water quality issues. The firm’s Salt Lake office is located in Utah’s first LEED Gold-certified high-rise at 222 S. Main Street – a testament to the business community’s responsibility to lead by example in using innovative conservation practices.

“This Chamber of Commerce Program is William's brain child and would not exist without her and her efforts on the Salt Lake City Chamber of Commerce board,” said Holland & Hart Partner Carl Barton. “I’ve done a lot of water rights and water work in my real estate practice over the years, and it’s great to have Jody here.  She’s one of two industry leaders in the Utah legal water community. This is a great thing that will surely bring visible and profitable work to Holland & Hart in the future.”

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