Dice your onions. Sprinkle the salt over them, toss to mix, set aside.
Heat sugar in a 12-inch metal skillet or dutch oven (larger if making more than 4 servings) over medium-high heat until completely melted and light brown (not darker), about 3 minutes. Do not use a non-stick skillet - the onions won't develop a proper fond.
Immediately add onions and stir with wooden spoon to coat onions in sugar. A hardwood spoon with a straight (rather than curved) bottom end, works best. Google "wood scraping spoon" and order one up of you don't have one.
Add butter and black pepper. Stir to combine.
Cook, shaking pan occasionally until onions release all their liquid and brown coating of fond builds up on bottom, 6 to 8 minutes.
Add a fourth of the water while scraping with wooden spoon to deglaze brown bits from bottom of pan.
Continue cooking, shaking occasionally until fond begins to build up again, about every 2 minutes.
Repeat deglazing and cooking steps three more times until all water is used up and onions are deep brown.
Transfer to medium mixing bowl and allow to cool at room temperature for 10 minutes.
Add sour cream, mayonnaise, lemon juice, parmesan, and Worcestershire. Whisk to combine.
For a smooth texture, run through blender or food processor for 1 minute until smooth. But chunky au-natural is a fine choice too — just be sure when slicing or dicing the raw onions you settle on the size you're looking for. Nobody wants long stringy onion bits hanging off their chip.
Chill in a sealed container for at least 1 hour. Overnight is better.
Spoon into a bowl, sprinkle with chives, and serve with substantial hearty chips like Ruffles.