Utah Stories from the Beehive Archive

Beehive Archive - Think Water Utah

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Beehive Archive - Think Water Utah

Items in the Beehive Archive - Think Water Utah Collection

The Civilian Conservation Corps and Desert Reclamation
During the depths of the Great Depression, thousands of young men went to work on over one thousand water projects in Utah. Learn about some of the projects that survive to this day. In the 1930s, there was no shortage of work to be done on Utah's…

Claiming the Water: Violence in the Desert
Who owns common sources of water? As Mormons began to spread south throughout Utah Territory in the 1850s, conflict over watering holes in the desert turned deadly. In the arid Utah desert, one resource takes priority over all others: water. When a…

Indoor Plumbing Eases the Domestic Burden
Most of us take for granted the luxury of having running water inside of our homes. But, indoor plumbing is a relatively new phenomenon that has made life significantly easier! At the turn of the twentieth century, just 1% of homes in the United…

“The Reservoir Can Go to Hell:” Building & Financing the Enterprise Dam
The Enterprise Dam in Utah's Washington County is an amazing example of how early Mormon settlers mastered the waters of the harsh desert using community effort. But did you know the process of building it was bursting with controversy and deluged…

Desperate for Rain: Utah’s Cloud Seeding Industry
Utah communities regularly wish for more rainfall, especially during years of drought. But can they do more than just pray? Learn how scientists in the 1950s harnessed technology to make their own rain. Today, Utahns experiencing drought due to…

Desperate for Water on an Island
While it may seem like an isolated, desolate desert island, Antelope Island in Utah's Great Salt Lake has been an important source of fresh water for humans going back thousands of years. If you were stranded alone on a deserted island, what’s one…

Pink Floyd the Flamingo
Looking out at Great Salt Lake you may have seen it before – a flash of pink wings and long legs… wait, was that a Flamingo? Find out more about Great Salt Lake’s beloved pink visitor Floyd. In 1988, a flamingo living at the Tracy Aviary in…

Bobbing Like Corks in Great Salt Lake’s Salty Waters
Many Utahns would shudder to think about swimming in Great Salt Lake’s smelly waters. But, in the early 1900s -- when the water was higher -- thousands of swimmers flocked to its shores to enjoy the Saltair Resort. Great Salt Lake’s high salt…

Salt Wash at Wolfe Ranch: Life Before Fame at Delicate Arch
Travelers from all over the world come to hike Utah's famous Delicate Arch. But they often overlook the rich history of the humble log cabin sitting at its trailhead. Delicate Arch is a famous part of Utah’s landscape, featured on gift shop coffee…

Water is Alive: Navajo Connections to the Colorado River
In Navajo belief systems, water is alive and a vital part of a healthy landscape. When Glen Canyon Dam blocked the flow of the Colorado River, a landscape that holds deep meaning in traditional Navajo spirituality was completely transformed. For…

Law of the River: Conflicts & Legacies
In 1922, Utah joined the Colorado River Compact as arid Western states started to scramble for equal access to the waters of the Colorado River. But taming nature with this legal agreement did not come... naturally. In 1922, seven states in the…

Law of the River: The 1922 Colorado Compact
Maybe you’ve heard it before: “The Nile is the longest river in the world. The Amazon is the largest. But the Colorado is one of the hardest working.” Learn why. Did you know a quarter of Utah’s water comes from one river? That river is the…

Gaslighting about Gas Emissions and Acid Rain
Acid rain used to be a big problem in Salt Lake Valley. As local farmers sought to curb its impact, they found themselves getting “gaslit” about gas emissions from nearby smelters, both in court and in their own fields. Water normally means life…

Utah Lake’s Wicked Waters
Utahns love to visit beautiful Utah Lake for recreation, but the lake’s dangerous conditions remind us to be wary of getting too comfortable on the water. On a calm Sunday afternoon in June 1883, Thomas Yates and some friends from the town of…

Floyd Dominy: Legacy of a Lightning Rod
Floyd Dominy was more than a government bureaucrat. As commissioner for the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Dominy was a lightning rod for the controversy over humanity’s relationship to the natural environment and had an outsized impact on the…

Lagoon: From Promenades to Rollercoasters
Did you know that one of the oldest roller coasters in the world is right here in Utah? It all started with a pond and a dancehall called “Lagoon.” Learn more about one of Utah’s oldest amusement parks.In the late nineteenth century -- before…

Utah v. United States: the 1931 Riverbed Case
Water law in the West can be complicated. Find out how river runners helped the government decide who owns the riverbed of the Colorado Basin, and why that even matters to the public. In the late 1920s, the state of Utah wanted to use the riverbeds…

Town that Drowned: Hite
Underneath Lake Powell is a drowned ghost town that was once an important mining hub and crossroads for the Colorado River community. If you’ve ever visited the north end of Lake Powell, you may have stopped by the Hite Marina for a public restroom…

State Street River: Salt Lake City’s 1983 Flood
Find out how a season of terrible floods left Salt Lake City residents with a memorable scene: their neighbors packing sandbags to create a river running down State Street. The uncharacteristically wet winter and spring seasons between 1982 and 1983…

Pools During Polio: Transmission or Treatment?
When Utah joined the nation’s crusade against polio in the 1950s, officials weren't sure what to do about public pools. Were they a place where children got relief from their symptoms or a nexus for mass infection? After World War II, the United…