Tag Archive for: Salt Lake Tribune

Can The Lake Powell Pipeline Still Happen?

Already in doubt from the West’s changing climate, a proposed pipeline across southern Utah remains bogged in a regulatory limbo that could hold up the project indefinitely.

If built, Utah’s 143-mile Lake Powell pipeline would draw up to 86,000 acre-feet of the Colorado River’s flow — depleted by drought and overuse — from the ever-shrinking Lake Powell for use in St. George and Kane County.

By the time Utah water bosses clear a stalled environmental review and secure the water rights, however, there may be no Lake Powell as we’ve known it, just a “dead pool” stacked behind Glen Canyon Dam. Complicating this bleak picture is the pipeline’s current design, which places the intakes above the lake’s future levels, leaving them high, dry and unusable if the drought continues to drain the lake.

OPINION: Andrew Kramer: Pipeline Project Based on Inaccurate Studies

If constructed, the proposed 140-mile Lake Powell Pipeline would be a multi-billion dollar project, one of the most expensive in state history.

Although the pipeline would only serve Washington County, its proponents want the entire state to subsidize the LPP. As taxpayers who’d be required to pay for this mammoth project, we deserve accurate information and well-reasoned analysis that demonstrates the need and economic viability of the pipeline. Instead, studies by the Division of Water Resources (DWR) and the Washington County Water Conservancy District (WCWCD) are biased, incomplete and don’t fairly consider feasible, much less costly alternatives.