A southern Utah city plans to pull additional water from the Colorado River, but the move amid a historic drought has left some concerned. A 140-mile pipeline approved by the Utah Legislature would serve St. George, a fast-growing city of nearly 90,000 people — up from fewer than 75,000 a decade ago. A new “straw” into the river would increase demand on the Colorado River system, even as federal officials deal with a shrinking Lake Powell, which would be the source of the pipeline.
West of Lake Powell, along the Utah-Arizona border, lies a sparsely populated territory of high desert, deeply scored canyons and barren mesas. Here, Utah officials want to build a 140-mile-long pipeline to bring precious Colorado River water west to the thriving town of St. George, in the state’s far southwestern corner.